Dean Saitta's blog

Dean Saitta is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Urban Studies Program, University of Denver
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Public Art and the Urban Experience

A retrospective of a billboard art exhibition at the 2013 Biennial of the Americas on the occasion of the 2015 Biennial's kick-off implicates an excellent model of citizen engagement and possibly some lessons for civic leaders and urban planners.

Should City Planners Worry About Water Supply?

It’s a big question being tackled by land use planners and water providers in Colorado, where the traditional disconnect between water realities and land use decisions precludes a sustainable balance between water supply and urban growth.

Composing Cosmopolis

It’s wise to search widely across time and space for good examples of processes and products for intercultural city building.

Building the Inclusive City

Income inequality, housing affordability, and residential segregation are big challenges that require more self-critical analysis and less civic self-promotion.

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?