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Revisit Patrick Geddes

Revisiter Patrick Geddes

Revisar Patrick Geddes

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Published on Monday, May 18, 2015 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

In the interdisciplinarity of his thought, its international dimensions and the timeliness of his ideas, but also given the misunderstanding of his work in France, Espaces et Sociétés devotes its next folder issue to Patrick Geddes, pioneer of modern urbanism and interdisciplinary methods, precursor of environmentalism.  In effect, the environmental question has not emerged suddenly in urbanism, it goes back to the 19th century and the beginnings of the 20th century with authors such as Geddes.   The choice of Geddes reflects the interdisciplinarity of his thought, its international reach and the novelty of his ideas, but also by the lack of his work in France; it was necessary, in fact, to wait until 1994 for the first translation of his work Cities in Evolution (1915).  Equally this number wishes to address this oversight by understanding and by calling for a critical rereading of his work.

Announcement

Argument

 After  Raymond Ledrut (n° 57-58, 1989), Henri Lefebvre (n° 76, 1994), Paul-Henry Chombart de Lauwe (n° 103, 2000), Espaces et Sociétés consecrates its next author dossier to Patrick Geddes (1854-1932), pioneer of modern urbanism and interdisciplinary methods, precursor of environmentalism.  In effect, the environmental question has not emerged suddenly in urbanism, it goes back to the 19th century and the beginnings of the 20th century with authors such as Geddes.   The choice of Geddes reflects the interdisciplinarity of his thought, its international reach and the novelty of his ideas, but also by the lack of his work in France; it was necessary, in fact, to wait until 1994 for the first translation of his work Cities in Evolution (1915).  Equally this number wishes to address this oversight by understanding and by calling for a critical rereading of his work.

 Geddes influenced the American environmental movement via his disciples Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) or the landscape architect Ian McHarg (1920-2001). His ideas were recently taken up in Italy by the « territorialist » school of  Alberto Magnaghi (2000, 2014). Outside of multiple reprintings in English, Geddes has been transated in Spanish  (1934, 1960, 2009), Italian (1970), Portuguese (1994) and was recognized for his support for economical economics (Martínez Alier, 1995). By contrast, in France, he has remained in the shadows.  If some urbanists of the SFU (Marcel Poëte, Gaston Bardet, Robert Auzelle) claimed him, the group Team Ten consecrated an issue of their revuew Le Carré bleu (1993) and Françoise Choay gave him a place in her anthology of urbanism (1965), he has not been recognized as much as in other countries.  Recently, Dominique Bourg et Augustin Fragnière inserted him in an anthology of econlogical thought (2014).

1. Biologist and botanist, Geddes made himself into an urban sociologist and urbanist. He invented the «survey before plan», a founding principle of modern urban and regional planning.  Interdisciplinarity, displacing the distinction between the social and natural sciences, a holistic approach tot he relationship between humans and the environment (Kalaora & Vlassapoulos, 2013) distinguish his research. However, the surpassing of this opposition, as in the bringing to relation of theory and practice by the simple recourse to intuition (Bergson), or his vitalist vision of the city, raise questions. To revisit Geddes also invites us to interrogate urbanism more broadly, its inter(trans)disciplinary construction, its scales of action, his holistic perspective and his relation of theory/practice.

Beginning form the work and direction of Geddes, what can one induce into the epistemological stakes of urbanism and its interdisciplinary construction?  What critical vision of the discipline for the future? How can we think the theory/practice relation, the articulation between knowing and acting in planning?  What are the conditions for an interdisciplinary reformation, a taking into account of the environment, more particularly in the sustainable urbanism  that is gestating?

2.  We owe to Geddes the concepts of “conservative surgery”, “regional survey”, “regionalism”, “conurbation”, “bioregion”, “biotechnic” “paleotechnic”, “neotechnic”,valley section”, “web of Life”...  We speak of his impact on urban and landscape theory and practice now, on the elaboration of a sustainable urbanism (Espaces et Sociétés, n° 147, 2011), on the questioning in general of relationships between planning and the environment.

Could we recognize the genealogies, the course of ideas, circulation of Geddesian concepts from his time to ours?  A critical view and archaelology of the ideas and reflections today based on Geddes would be welcome.  Does this multiplication of interpretations, recuperations and filiations point to a desire to revisit in a critical and reflexive fashion his works or to legitimate certain thoughts and practices of urbanism now (Chabard, 2005) ?  The historical and critical approach to the reception, diffusion, re-elaboration of the work and thought of Geddes, in specific intellectual or professional milieus, in different national contexts, and in a comparative perspective is equally interesting for this dossier.

3. An educator and pedagogue, Geddes wanted to also awaken and raise the civic awareness of citizens, an indispensable condition, in his eyes, to good urban management. The production, transmission and democratization of knowledge of the city and urban planning was, for him, a critical challenge: he invented to this end the English neologism "Civics" and created in Edinburgh The Outlook Tower. Pierre Clavel (1971) has seen in Geddes a sociologist engaged in the city, the precursor of participatory approaches .  Today, at a time when we are talking about "inhabitant knowledge”, "citizen knowledge", or "empowerment" has as current ideas in circulation, it would be interesting to situate this question in a historical perspective and to interrogate the evolution of its theoretical formulations.

What are the links between current theories of participation and the ideas of Geddes ?  Will returning to his work, on the basis of this problematique, permit us to better evaluate the stakes and challenges of local democracy and participation in urbanism today, and also the practices of urbanisms ?  Are the pedagogical objectives, reinforcement of citizenship and the « capability » of inhabitants (Amartya Sen) to question le know-how of urbanists, still up to date ? What lessons follow, what implications can be drawn to take his propositions and action in this domain ?  What is the validity, what is the impact of these ideas on these problematics ?

What learnings, what follows from the pull of these proposals and actions in this field? What is the validity, what is the scope of his ideas on these issues?  The expected contributions could focus on these three points, separately or together, but not exclusively, other approaches and other inputs from/on his work are possible?

Calendar

  • June 30, 2015: Deadline for submission of articles

  • July 27, 2015: Responses to authors

 Adresse for correspondence

Submissions eclusively in electronic version by e-mail to the following two addresses:

  • mariacr@arq.uva.es
  • alblevy@club-internet.fr
  • adebiase@paris-lavillette.archi.fr

 Authors who are wondering about the relevance of their proposals may contact the coordinators 

Authors who are wondering about the relevance of their proposals may contact the coordinators. 

Attention:

  •  The magazine does not request proposals for articles, but submissions of articles directly
  •  articles may not exceed 42 000 characters (including spaces) including: text, notes, bibliographic references, appendices, but excluding summaries.
  •  Submission information is included in each number.
  •  The standards of presentation and the advice to authors are available on the website of the journal: http://www.espacesetsocietes.msh-paris.fr/conseils.html
  •  The journal reminds authors that they may submit, at any time, an article outside of the theme, if it concerns the relation between spaces, territories and populations in the broad sense and it complies with the standards of publication; in case of acceptance, these articles are published rapidly.

Coordination of the issue

María Castrillo Romón, Albert Lévy and Alessia de Biase

Drafting committee

  • Jean-Yves Authier,
  • Christian Azaïs,
  • Bernard Barraqué,
  • Fatiha Belmessous,
  • Catherine Bidou-Zachariasen,
  • Maurice Blanc,
  • Florence Bouillon,
  • Alain Bourdin,
  • Olivier Chadoin,
  • Anne Clerval,
  • Jérôme Dubois,
  • Joëlle Jacquin,
  • Leïla Kebir
  • Albert Lévy,
  • Jérôme Monnet,
  • Stéphane Nahrath,
  • Jean Remy,
  • Thomas Sauvadet,
  • Stéphanie Vermeersch

Internacional editorial board

  • Lauren Andres (Birmingham, Grande-Bretagne),
  • Maria Encarnação Beltrão Sposito (São Paulo, Brésil),
  • José Virgílio Borges Pereira (Porto, Portugal),
  • Julie-Anne Boudreau (Montréal, Québec),
  • Philippe Bourgois (Philadelphie, États-Unis),
  • María A. Castrillo Romón (Valladolid, Espagne),
  • Angela Giglia (Mexico, Mexique),
  • Abdou Salam Fall (Dakar, Sénégal),
  • Güzin Kaya (Istanbul, Turquie),
  • Marc Levine (Milwaukee, États Unis),
  • Beatriz Nates Cruz (Manizales, Colombie),
  • Janice Elaine Perlman (New-York, États Unis),
  • Caecilia Pieri (Beyrouth, Liban),
  • Rainer Neef (Göttingen, Allemagne),
  • Robert Shields (Alberta, Canada),
  • Panayotis Tournikiotis (Athènes, Grêce).

Bibliographical References

  • BOURG, D. ; FRAGNIÈRE, A. (sous la dir. de) 2014. La pensée écologique, une anthologie. Paris, PUF.
  • CHABARD, P. 2005. « Comment un livre change : Cities in Evolution et les usages de Patrick Geddes (1912-1972) », Genèses, 2005/3 (n°. 60), p. 76-97.
  • CHOAY, F. 1965. L'urbanisme, utopies et réalités : une anthologie, Paris, Éditions du Seuil.
  • CLAVEL, P. 1971. « Introduction to the Torchbook Edition », dans GEDDES P. [1915]. Cities in Evolution, an Introduction to the Town Planning Movement and to the Study of Civics. Londres, Harper Torchbooks - New York, Dover, p. vii-xxiii.
  • GEDDES, P. 1915. Cities in Evolution: An introduction to the Town Planning Movement and to the Study of Civics. London, Williams & Norgate (édition française : L’évolution des villes, une introduction au movement de l’urbanisme et à l’étude de l’instruction civique, Paris, Temenos, 1994, épuisée).
  • KALAORA B. ; VLASSAPOULOS, Ch. 2013. Pour une sociologie de l'environnement : environnement, société et politique, Seyssel,  Éditions Champ Vallon.
  • Le Carré bleu, Revue Internationale d’Architecture, 1993. nº 2 « L'actualité de Patrick Geddes. Biologiste, éducateur, urbaniste ».
  • MAGNAGHI, A. 2000. Il progetto locale. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri (édition française : Liège, Mardaga, 2003).
  • MAGNAGHI, A. 2014. La Biorégion urbaine, Petit traité sur le territoire bien commun. Paris, Eterotopia/ Rhizome.
  • MARTINEZ ALIER, J. (sous la dir. de). 1995. Geddes, P.; Podolinsky, S.A.; Soddy, F. Los principios de la economía ecológica. Madrid, Argentaria-Visor.

Places

  • Paris, France (75)

Date(s)

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Keywords

  • Patrick Geddes, histoire de l’urbanisme, histoire de l’environnementalisme, épistémologie de l’urbanisme, participation

Contact(s)

  • Joëlle Jacquin
    courriel : Espacesetsocietes [at] msh-paris [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Joëlle Jacquin
    courriel : Espacesetsocietes [at] msh-paris [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Revisit Patrick Geddes », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, May 18, 2015, https://calenda.org/308575

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