The Geddes Institute for Urban Research is the principal collegiate forum and collective platform for research and scholarship in Architecture and Planning at the University of Dundee, with participation by staff in Architecture, Planning, and Geography.  Founded by Town & Regional Planning in the 1990’s, the Geddes Institute functions as host, showcase, and storefront for research and scholarship projects and activities in the Architecture and Planning programs. The polymathic planner and botanist, Patrick Geddes insisted that the city and its region must be understood together in a single synoptic view that encompassed their mutual relations and dependencies. His concern with ‘land work folk’ defines a form of latter day humanism by which we orient our research and scholarship praxis in the urban and rural manmade environments. The purpose of the Institute is to bring together researchers from disciplines from across the University with interests in the manmade environment, and to bring together the different research cultures/methodologies represented by these disciplines, in particular the social science research methodologies of geography, sociology, and planning with the creative practice led research methodologies of architecture, art, and the design disciplines.

In particular, it aims to provide a structure for interdisciplinary collaborations by promoting:

  • lectures, events, and symposia, and other forums that bring together researchers in relevant disciplines to share research interests and findings;
  • collaborative, grant-funded, research projects involving social science research and practice led research, singly or in dialogue;
  • publication and other dissemination projects;
  • exhibitions and other public events that showcase the design and digital communities;
  • and jointly funded research studentships.

Typically Architecture and Planning staff convene Geddes Institute forums to host problem forming and project planning meetings, which, typically, bring diverse disciplines together around a common topic, with a view to writing grant applications and developing projects.

The Institute contributes to a research environment at the University that includes the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR) and other forums in the University, which provide research programmes for staff and PhD students.

The Institute has a Geddes Fellows programme, populated by academics and practitioners outwith the University. Fellows contribute to the Institute by bringing research projects, exhibitions, and symposia to Dundee. Current fellows include a planner in Plymouth, an economist in Luebeck local authority, an independent media activist in America, and an urbanist with Architecture+Design Scotland.

The Institute is interested in recruiting post-graduate students from architecture, geography, planning, and from the arts and social sciences generally, at the M.Phil. and Ph.D. levels, who are interested in research in all aspects of urban design and planning, and urban theory and culture.

In the Spotlight


The City is a Thinking Machine

... activism in the built environment

Marking the centenary of the publication of Geddes, Cities in Evolution (2015) and the associated Cities Exhibition

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Activism in the Built Environment: Media


Accompanying the City is a Thinking Machine Exhibition in the Lamb Gallery is a programme of three evening events, the second of which takes place this Wednesday 18 November 2015, 6pm in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee This double bill should be of interest to architects planners lawyers psychologists, artists and other agitators, anyone interested in the city as the arena in whi...

Town and Country Planning Association (Scotland) prize


Town and Regional Planning at the University of Dundee recently awarded the Town and Country Planning Association (Scotland) Prize for the best student in the MSc Spatial Planning course to Ryan Blair. Ryan recently graduated with distinction in the MSc Spatial Planning with Environmental Assessment and previously graduated with a first class honours degree in geography from the University of Dundee. He is now a licentiate of ...