Obituary: Professor Sir Robert Grieve

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The Independent Online
Tam Dalyell [obituaries, 30 October] makes only passing reference to Bob Grieve's tenure of the Chair of Town and Regional Planning at Glasgow University, writes Tim Cordy. Perhaps, on behalf of his many students, I might amplify.

He it was who established the department - the third in the city (and this at the time of point-blocks, inner-city motorways and municipal Stalinism: imagine the jokes). But Bob Grieve, as ever, had a dream and, as ever, made it happen. He wanted to produce polymaths, in the true Scottish tradition - men and women to follow in the steps of John Muir and Patrick Geddes. So he established a postgraduate department, with eclectic but rigorous entry requirements and an extremely wide-ranging syllabus. Only years later did I discover that his proposals had met considerable opposition at Senate, where his dry wit had ensured that he won the day.

His colleagues and students shared the intellectual excitement of his department, which combined the visionary ("We cannot afford not to have dreams") and the practical ("Never forget the drains"). My Glasgow years gave me a sense of urgency, purpose and practical pride in town planning and I suspect that most of my fellow students felt the same.