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Sir Patrick Geddes Commemorative Lecture

Patrick GeddesRTPI Scotland hold an Annual Commemorative Lecture to advance Geddesian thinking and to stimulate debate and discussion on key issues in planning. The lecture is organised by RTPI Scotland and supported by the Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust and the Saltire Society.

Patrick Geddes

Patrick Geddes is widely regarded as the founder of modern town planning. His interest in the natural sciences led him to a professorship at Dundee University in botany, after which he developed his interest in sociology and planning. He lived most of his life in Edinburgh during which he established the Edinburgh Social Union, promoted a wide range of sympathetic redevelopment and conservation schemes the length of the Royal Mile, largely for university residential accommodation, founded a publishing company, founded the Franco-Scottish Society, became a major sponsor of the arts, developed summer schools, promoted international festivals, published seminal texts such as "Cities in Evolution", spent time in India as Chair in Sociology at Bombay University, planned the Hebrew University at Jerusalem and finally retired to France where he founded the College des Ecossais in Montpellier. He was knighted in London in the year of his death.

2016 Lecture

Copenhagen: A City for People

by Tina Saaby, City Architect, Copenhagen

On 15 June 2016 at Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh 


Tina SaabyTina Saaby has been the Chief City Architect of Copenhagen since September 2010. She inspires, facilitates, advices, and coaches the politicians and City Administration. Her responsibility is to help defining architectural guidelines and visions in developing the city based on the The City of Copenhagen's Architectural Policy.  She graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture in 1997. She has many years of experience as an architect, partly as partner of the architectural firm Witraz Architects in Copenhagen and was the former Vice President of the Danish Architects´ Association.

Tina is Visiting Professor at Sheffield University and external examiner at The University of Roskilde, The University of Copenhagen and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. Furthermore Tina is the Chairman of the Advisory board at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation.


17.45    Arrival and registration

18.00    Welcome and Introduction by Nick Wright, Convenor of RTPI Scotland

18.15    Lecture by Tina Saaby, followed by questions

19.15    Vote of Thanks

19.25    Drinks reception

20.00    Departures


This event costs £15 + VAT (£3) = £18

Book by emailing or calling 0131 229 9628.

This event is kindly sponsored by


Scottish Government Logo

The event is supported by The Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust and the Saltire Society


Previous Lectures


2015 "The Freiburg Approach to Sustainable Urbanism" by Wulf Daseking, Architect and former Chief Planning Officer for the City of Freiburg

2014 "Planning Matters, Building Resilience Through Risk Management – lessons from Australia" by Dyan Currie, National President of the Planning Institute of Australia and Manager of Strategic Planning and Economic Development, Toowoomba Regional Council, Queensland.

2013   "Transition Towns and the Power of Just Doing Stuff" by Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Network.  You can hear Rob's lecture along with his slides here.

2012   "Cities for People: Geddes' Legacy" by Professor Jan Gehl, Founding Partner of Gehl Architects in Copenhagen on "Cities for People: Geddes' Legacy".  You can see a video of the full lecture at

2011   "Cities and Food" by Carolyn Steel author of "Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives".  You can view a video of the lecture here

2010   "Sustainable Economic Development: towards the emerging Ecological Age" by Peter Head, Director, Arup. Read a summary of the lecture here. 

2009   "Sir Patrick Geddes and the Scottish Generalist Tradition" by Murdo MacDonald, Professor of History of Scottish Art, University of Dundee. Read the lecture here.

2008   "The Biological Consequences of Living in Adverse Circumstances" by Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland.

2007   "Wanted: Visionary Planners to Apply Levers for a Sustainable World" by Richard Wakeford, Director General, Environment, Scottish Executive. Read the lecture here.

2006  "Planning and the public interest in the modern world" by Professor Greg Lloyd, School ofTown and Regional Planning,University of Dundee . Read the lecture here.

2005   "Cities in Devolution" by Raymond Young, Chair, Architecture + Design Scotland. Read the lecture here.

2004   "Sustainable Development Past and Present" by Jonathan Porritt. Read the lecture here.