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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.

The Sir Patrick Geddes Commemorative Lecture 2017

Poverty, Places and Equality: A role for place based approaches?

by Naomi Eisenstadt, Independent Advisor to the Scottish Government on Poverty and Inequality

on Wednesday 7 June 2017 in The Lighthouse, Glasgow


Geddes 2017 - Naomi Eisenstadt

After a long career in the Non-Governmental Organisation sector, in 1999 Naomi became the first Director of the Sure Start Unit. The Unit was responsible for delivering the government's commitment to free nursery education places for all three and four year olds, the national childcare strategy, and programmes aiming to reduce the gap in outcomes between children living in disadvantaged areas and the wider child population. After Sure Start, Naomi spent 3 years as the Director of the Social Exclusion Task Force working across government to identify and promote policies to address the needs of traditionally excluded groups.

Since retiring from the Civil Service, Naomi has chaired the Camden Equalities Commission, the Milton Keynes Child Poverty Commission, published a book and several articles relevant to child development and child poverty.  She is a trustee of four charities: Save the Children, the National Literacy Trust, the Dartington Social Research Unit, and the Trust for London – she is currently being invited on to Standard Life Foundation a charitable fund being set up to fund research into financial exclusion.  Naomi is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Department of Education and the Department of Social Policy and Intervention. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University in 2002 and became a CB in 2005.


17.45               Arrival and registration

18.00               Welcome and Introduction - Stefano Smith, Convenor of RTPI Scotland

18.15               Lecture by Naomi Eisenstadt, followed by questions

19.20               Vote of Thanks

19.30               Drinks reception

20.15               Departures


This event cost £10 + VAT = £12. 

Book a place here

Sponsorship and Support

Our thanks go to our sponsor:

Scottish Government Logo

Our thanks go to our supporters:

Geddes Trust logoSaltire Society logo


Previous Lectures


2016 "Copenhagen: A City for People" by Tina Saaby, City Architect, Copenhagen

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.