Urban Studies

  • The Greatest Grid

    The Greatest Grid

    At least that’s what the Museum of the City of New York proclaims in the title of a new exhibition about the 1811 Manhattan street plan that’s currently celebrating its 200th birthday.  It’s a bold claim, given the grid’s great […]

  • Urban Culture and the Intangible Heritage of Place: ‘Graffiti’ Removal and Preservation

    Urban Culture and the Intangible Heritage of Place: ‘Graffiti’ Removal and Preservation

    ANARCHETIQUETTE: The removal and preservation of wall writings on public buildings before they are covered up or the buildings themselves are demolished or renovated; efforts to conserve an intangible heritage that would otherwise be eliminated. Since at least the 1970s […]

  • New Urbanism in Comparative and Intercultural Perspective

    New Urbanism in Comparative and Intercultural Perspective

    Denver is well-known nationally as a city dedicated to New Urbanist development.  Several projects in the city—most notably Belmar, Stapleton, and Highlands Garden Village (HGV)—have received lots of prominent press and some significant praise.  The Congress for the New Urbanism […]

  • Peak Water, Urban Sustainability, and the ‘New West’

    Peak Water, Urban Sustainability, and the ‘New West’

    Water is a key resource constraint in urban development, especially here in the West.  Because of projected population growth—anticipated to double to 10 million people by 2050—Colorado is predicted to have a municipal and industrial water gap by at least […]

  • Carr Square Village (from Oscar Newman, Creating Defensible Space)

    Has Pruitt-Igoe Been Demythologized?

    The short answer is Yes and No. Details ahead… Last week I finally had a chance to see the much-heralded film The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History at the Denver Starz Film Festival.  I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a powerful and visually […]

  • Civic Virtue, Civic Vice, and Civic Center Park

    Civic Virtue, Civic Vice, and Civic Center Park

    Denver’s Lincoln Park—ground zero for the Occupy Denver protests—is part of a larger public space called Civic Center Park.  Civic Center Park is a classic City Beautiful composition. The Occupy Denver protests coincided with a required visit by my Culture […]

  • Urbanology 101

    Urbanology 101

    Kaid Benfield’s recent post about the BMW-Guggenheim Lab’s Urbanology game inspired me to play the game a few times myself.  Then I asked my University of Denver Culture and The City class (which met for the first time last week) to […]

  • Three Urbanisms Revisited

    Three Urbanisms Revisited

    A recurring theme in the urban studies literature and blogosphere (including this blog) is critical comparison of  different approaches to city-building.  Such an exercise can have practical utility in the street and also pedagogical utility in the classroom.  Although any […]

  • Why is London Burning?

    Why is London Burning?

    Criminologists offer up an array of usual suspects, including social exclusion, poverty, racism, and cultures of violence combined with weak policing.  In an inspired move, The Architects Journal asked a group of architectural thinkers and urbanists whether architecture could have anything […]

  • The 15% Solution

    The 15% Solution

    Which is a better city: Melbourne or Sydney?  Geoffrey West’s and Luis Bettencourt’s provocative ideas (reported here and popularized here) got some play today in the Sydney Morning Herald.  Reprising their argument that cities are 85% alike in the way […]

  • Coming Contractions

    Coming Contractions

    James Kunstler’s essay in the new issue of Orion Magazine speculates about the future of cities by playing off of “city-of-the-future” tropes that have long been a staple of American popular culture. Kunstler is well-known for a brand of dystopian futurism […]

  • Interdisciplinarity in Urban Studies

    Interdisciplinarity in Urban Studies

    Urban Studies is generally recognized as a textbook example of an interdisciplinary field of inquiry.  Contributors look to synthesize observations and insights from multiple disciplines including anthropology, geography, history, sociology and many others.  Such integrative work has the potential to […]