Dean Saitta's blog

Dean Saitta is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Urban Studies Program, University of Denver
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How Ancient and Modern Cities Compare (and Why Planners Should Care)

A new scholarly paper argues that ancient and modern cities can be usefully analyzed in a comparative perspective. But what you do with the comps depends on how much you value similarities versus differences in urban form.

Blogging the City: Research, Collaboration, and Engagement in Urban Planning

Blogs are a rewarding platform for bringing academic perspectives and research results to a much broader audience of scholars, planning professionals, students, and citizens.

Retrofitting Dead and Dying Suburban Malls: What Works?

Denver is a national leader in retrofitting the Great American Suburban Mall. But how well are these retrofits working? A comparative analysis of field reports by college-age Millennials offers some insight.

Is America's Civic Architecture Inherently Racist?

It's a provocative and rage-inducing question, but a potentially useful one for promoting discussion about the cross-cultural meaning of public space.

Remembering the 'White City'

Does a 100-year-old tent colony located on a 40-acre piece of remote, sunbaked and windswept prairie have anything to teach us about intercultural urban planning and design?

Debating Starchitecture: A Mile High View

Is there a sweet spot where architectural boldness and innovation meet sensitivity to local context, history, and culture?

Millennial Fever: Taking Stock of Denver Placemaking

Denver's investments in placemaking—guided by the city's great appeal to Millennials—are a mixed bag of hits, misses, and open questions.

Does the Aspen Ideas Festival Offer Compelling Ideas for Improving City Life?

According to this blog post, the Aspen Ideas Festival didn't offer much that's particularly compelling, but it has its moments.

The University and The City: Location and Structure

Institutional structure and culture can matter as much as location to the success and survival of urban universities.

Manifesto for an Intercultural Urbanism

What are the philosophical and practical commitments in an approach to urban planning that respects cultural differences in ways of being and building?