"This is a green world, with animals comparatively few and small,
and all dependent on the leaves.
By leaves we live.
Some people have strange ideas that they live by money.
They think energy is generated by the circulation of coins.
Whereas the world is mainly a vast leaf colony,
growing on and forming a leafy soil,
not a mere mineral mass:
and we live not by the jingling of our coins,
but by the fullness of our harvests."
Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) was a Scottish biologist, sociologist, philanthropist and pioneering town planner. He is known for his innovative thinking in the fields of urban planning and education.
“Geddes’ great achievement has been the making of a bridge between Biology and Social Science,” wrote his biographer Lewis Mumford. His idea now seems simple: just like plants and other animals, people thrive in healthy conditions. Patrick considered how people could improve these conditions and in so doing, established town planning.”
“His ideas were novel: cities must be planned with respect to their surrounding villages, he said, in a ‘conurbation’. Industrial development, if left unchecked, would damage the air, water and land upon which all life relies. Little wonder that today’s environmentalists consider Patrick a prophet of land stewardship and sustainable activity.”