(Biologist, sociologist, geographer and Town Planner)
Bhanu Pratap Singh (11/PUR/002)
Subodh Dobhal (11/PUR/003)
(Masters in Urban & Regional Planning)
Gautam Buddha University
(Gr. Noida) India
About Sir Patrick Geddes
Sir Patrick Geddes (2 October 1854 – 17 April 1932) was a Scottish
biologist, sociologist, geographer, philanthropist and pioneering town
He is known for his innovative thinking in the fields of urban
planning and sociology.
He introduced the concept of "region" to architecture and planning and
coined the term "conurbation".
Geddes was the founder of the College des Ecossaise (Scots College)
an international teaching establishment in Montpellier, France.
He studied at the Royal College of Mines in London under Thomas
Henry Huxley between 1874 and 1878, and lectured in Zoology
at Edinburgh University from 1880 to 1888.
His principles for town planning in Bombay demonstrate his views on
the relationship between social processes and spatial form, and the
intimate and causal connections between the social development of the
individual and the cultural and physical environment. They included: (
Bombay Town Planning Act of 1915")
Preservation of human life and energy, rather than superficial
Conformity to an orderly development plan carried out in stages.
Purchasing land suitable for building.
Promoting trade and commerce.
Preserving historic buildings and buildings of religious significance.
Developing a city worthy of civic pride, not an imitation of European
Promoting the happiness, health and comfort of all residents, rather
than focusing on roads and parks available only to the rich.
Control over future growth with adequate provision for future
Patrick Geddes explained an organism’s relationship to its
environment as follows:
“The environment acts, through function, upon the organism
and conversely the organism acts, through function, upon the
environment.“ (Cities in Evolution, 1915)
In human terms this can be understood as a place acting
through climatic and geographic processes upon people and
thus shaping them. At the same time people act, through
economic processes such as farming and construction, on a
place and thus shape it. Thus both place and folk are linked
and through work are in constant transition.
Patrick Geddes was influenced by social theorists such as
Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) and French theorist Frederic
Le Play (1806–1882) and expanded upon earlier theoretical
developments that lead to the concept of regional planning.
He adopted Spencer's theory that the concept of biological
evolution could be applied to explain the evolution of
society, and drew on Le Play's analysis of the key units of
society as constituting "Lieu, Travail, Famille" ("Place,
Work, Family"), but changing the last from "family" to
"folk". In this theory, the family is viewed as the central
"biological unit of human society "from which all else
According to Geddes, it is from "stable, healthy homes"
providing the necessary conditions for mental and moral
development that come beautiful and healthy children who
are able "to fully participate in life".
Geddes and The Valley Section
Geddes first published his idea of the valley section in 1909 to
illustrate his idea of the 'region-city'.
The region is expressed in the city and the city spreads influence
of the highest level into the region.
To put it another way, Geddes said that "it takes a whole region to
make the city”.
The valley section illustrated the application of Geddes's trilogy of
'folk/work/place' to analysis of the region.
The valley section is a complex model, which combines physical
condition- geology and geomorphology and their biological
associations - with so-called natural or basic occupations such as
miner, hunter, shepherd or fisher, and with the human settlements
that arise from them.
Geddes illustrated the section using the locally
available landscapes of Edinburgh and its hinterland
The Geddes Plan for Tel Aviv was the first
master city plan for Tel Aviv.
It was designed in 1925-1929 by
the Scottish city planner Sir Patrick
This program designed the centre of Tel
Aviv and the area now known as "Old
In 1925 Patrick Geddes was commissioned
to design a master plan for the city of Tel
The plan he produced was accepted in
Tel Aviv turned out to be the only example
of one of Geddes’ plans being built largely
as he envisaged and is a good example of
an early planned city.
The area of Tel Aviv originally planned by Geddes makes up approximately
7.5% of the current day municipality of Tel Aviv and is now known as Tel
Aviv’s “Old North”.
It was designed to be an extension of the much older neighbouring Arabic port
town Jaffa to the south and a home for the increasing population of Jews
emigrating from other parts of the world (predominantly Eastern Europe).
Geddes, originally as biologist and sociologist was engaged to design a plan
for the new city of Tel Aviv to be built adjacent to the ancient port town of
The principles he employed for the city were strikingly similar to what we
now know as New Urbanism ideas of planning - an emphasis was placed on
pedestrians as opposed to motor car traffic, a sense of community and civic
life was encouraged through the use of town squares and abundant planting of
greenery provided significant focus on a minimal environmental footprint.
Private automobile traffic was minimised and the city was envisaged on a
pedestrian-scale. This neighbourhood identity has been crucial in the success
of Tel Aviv as a city.
• The term "conurbation" was coined in 1915 by Patrick
Geddes in his book Cities In Evolution.
• Internationally, the term "urban agglomeration" is often
used to convey a similar meaning to "conurbation".
• He drew attention to the ability of the (then) new
technology of electric power and motorised transport to
allow cities to spread and agglomerate together, and gave as
examples "Midland ton" in England, the Ruhr in
Germany, Ramstad in the Netherlands, New York-Boston in
the United States, the Greater Tokyo Area and Taiheiyō
Belt in Japan and NCR of Delhi in India.
• A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities,
large towns, and other urban areas that, through population
growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one
continuous urban and industrially developed area.
• In most cases, a conurbation is a polycentric urban
agglomeration, in which transportation has developed to link
areas to create a single urban labour market or travel to work
• The term is used in North America, a metropolitan area can be
defined by the Census Bureau or it may consist of a central
city and its suburbs, while a conurbation consists of adjacent
metropolitan areas that are connected with one another by
Examples of Conurbation
• The expansive concept of the New York metropolitan
area (the Tri-State Region) centred on New York City,
including 30 counties spread between New York
State, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, with
an estimated population of 21,961,994 in 2007.
• Approximately one-fifteenth of all U.S. residents live in
the Greater New York City area.
• This conurbation is the result of several central cities
whose urban areas have merged.
Industrial and housing growth in the United
Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries
produced many conurbations.
Greater London is by far the largest urban area and is
usually counted as a conurbation in statistical terms,
but differs from the others in the degree to which it is
focused on a single central area. In the mid-1950s
the Green Belt was introduced to stem the further
urbanisation of the countryside in UK.
The term "conurbation" is closer to the meaning
of urban agglomeration.
The list below shows the most populous urban areas in the UK
as defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The
Greater London Urban Area contains the whole of what is
commonly called London, but ONS definitions divide London
into a large number of smaller localities of which the largest is
Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is a
metropolitan area consisting of the metropolis of Mumbai and
its satellite towns. Developing over a period of about 20 years,
it consists of seven municipal corporations and fifteen smaller
The region has an area of 4,355 km² and with a population of
20,998,395, it is among the top ten most populated urban
agglomeration in the world.
It is linked with Mumbai through the Mumbai Suburban
Railway system and a large network of roads.
The National Capital Region (NCR) is a name for the
conurbation or metropolitan area which encompasses the
entire National Capital Territory of Delhi as well as urban
areas ringing it in neighbouring states
of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan.
With a total area of about 33,578 km2 (12,965 sq mi) it had an
estimated population of 21,961,994 in 2007.
URBAN AREA POPULATION PRIMARY
Greater London Urban Area 8,979,158 LONDON
Greater Manchester Urban
West Midlands Urban Area 2,362,065 BIRMINGHAM
West Yorkshire Urban Area 1,616,608 LEEDS
Greater Glasgow 1,195,200 GLASGOW
Tyneside 908,446 NEWCASTLE
Liverpool Urban Area 805,578 LIVERPOOL
Nottingham Urban Area 714,353 NOTTIGHAM
URBAN CONURBATION IN U.K.
As we all saw in the map, prominent cities in
Maharashtra are shown to be connected forming
a ‘CONSTELLATION’ shape.
This CONSTELLATION THEORY was also
coined by Sir Patrick Geddes , “4 or more cities,
which are not economically, politically, socially
equal come together in developing a whole
This theory is mostly used for administrative
purpose in all countries worldwide.
Such theory is most prominently used because
planning cities in a particular shape pattern is not
possible in Today’s times.
MAHARASHTRA- A CASE
Mumbai- Economic and Capital city
Nasik- Religious city
Aurangabad- Administrative city
Nagpur- Political city
Pune-Educational importance city
Since, all the five factors necessary for development of a
region are divided with five different place , the
administration of that region has a gradual progressing
path, because a certain region doesn’t have the
Maharashtra state has gained prime importance for the
country in the last few decade in spite of being formed in
early 60’s, contributing 15% to country’s industrial
output and 13.3% GDP.
Production, Manufacturing, automobile, Thermal
Electricity projects have been an active part in the growth
of the state.
The distance between the cities in Maharashtra, ranges
mostly in 100km-300km making transportation,
connectivity, inter-dependency prosper within the state.
Maharashtra is divided into six revenue divisions,
which are further divided into thirty-five districts.
These thirty-five districts are further divided into 109
sub-divisions of the districts and 357 Talukas in
The six administrative divisions in Maharashtra state
are Amravati Division, Aurangabad
Division, Konkan Division, Nagpur Division, Nashik
Division, and Pune Division.
The Admistrational aspect of Maharashtra is quite a
unique factor since six divisions are set up as a
network working together to form a well efficient an
d working governance.