Regarded as the father of town planning. Born in Ballater, Geddes was brought up on the outskirts of Perth. Living in Edinburgh, he did much of his pioneering work in the Old Town, then a desperately poor area of the city. Moving to James Court following his marriage, his profound social conscience led him to improve what were, at the time, the worst slums in Europe. His work included Ramsay Garden (1892-3), Blackie House (1894) and later, with his daughter and her husband, another notable Scottish architect, Sir Frank Mears (1880 - 1953), the Scottish National Zoological Park (or Edinburgh Zoo, 1913). He went on to plan buildings and cities in many countries including working with Meir in India and Palestine and laying out plans for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Geddes also excelled in Botany and became Professor of Botany in Dundee. He spent the last eight years of his life in France, where he founded the College Des Ecossais in Montpelier in 1924. He was knighted in 1932, shortly before his death.