Anthropologists have long known that humans are, in many ways, what they build. It is human nature to invest cultural meaning in both landscape and architecture, and to draw comfort and inspiration from them. Thus, the built environment can either enhance or erode the commitments that people make to the places where they live. The more sensitive that urban designers, planners, architects, and developers are to the role that culture plays in how people interact with built space—especially in today’s increasingly diverse urban communities—the better the chances for building neighborhoods and cities that are environmentally and culturally sustainable.
Intercultural Urbanism explores the territory where culture, public policy, urban design, and built environment intersect. It’s informed by an interdisciplinary perspective that integrates anthropology with archaeology, history, geography, evolutionary science, art, architecture, business, and other fields. The view is from Denver, Colorado, but the scope is global. A companion website and blog may be found at Contemporary Urban Anthropology.
Dean Saitta is Professor of Anthropology, Chair of the Department of Anthropology, and Director of the Urban Studies program at the University of Denver. He lives on a City Beautiful parkway just off Colfax Avenue in Denver. His website is at http://portfolio.du.edu/dsaitta. His email address is email@example.com.