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Urban Studies

Degree Programs

Urban Studies

Program News

Urban Studies related research and writing is happening throughout the university. This continuously updated page reports some of the critical, creative, and community-engaged work being conducted by faculty within our program, along with other items of interest.




          • November 14, 2018: Urban Studies student Rachel Pierstorff completes her undergraduate thesis entitled "Trends of Suburban Poverty Based on Walkability: A GIS Analysis of Minneapolis Suburbs."
          • November 4, 2018: Dean Saitta participates as a panelist for a Spirit and Place seminar at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His topic is "Ancient Intersections of Equity, Land, and Power."
          • October 19, 2018: DU Alumna, Anthropology major, and Urban Studies minor Shaylee Zaugg has accepted a Junior Associate for Transportation Planning position with the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York City.  PPS is one of the world's premier public space planning/urban placemaking organizations. 
          • September 20, 2018: Dean Saitta comments on a University of California, Berkeley Law School study about how Business Improvement Districts discriminate against the homeless at Denverite
          • August 10, 2018: The city of Denver releases draft plans for different aspects of urban life, developed through its Denveright process. The plans can be accessed here.
          • August 7, 2018: Dean Saitta publishes, at Planetizen, an analysis of the DU Campus Master Plan entitled "Planning, Placemaking, and the Public Good." 
          • June 19, 2018: Dean Saitta publishes an essay at Planetizen called "The Ancient Roots of New Urbanism."  The essay is inspired by Scott Hutson's visit to campus (see below). 
          • May 31, 2018: DU releases the Campus Framework Master Plan, assisted by the design firm Ayers Saint Gross.
          • May 14-May 18, 2018: Pedro Tabensky, Professor of Philosophy at Rhodes University, South Africa, is on campus as a Marsico Visiting Scholar to work with students on ethical frameworks in higher education. Dr. Tabensky's visit is co-sponsored by Paul Sutton (Geography) and Dean Saitta (Anthropology). Dr. Tabensky discusses race relations in South African cities with anthropology students.
          • March 19, 2018: Loryn Fujinami, DU Anthropology and Urban Studies student, publishes "Dystopian Denver: Are We Protecting the Character of Our City?", to Intercultural Urbanism .
          • February 19-20: Dean Saitta gives the 2018 Keynote Address at the Center for Translating Research into Practice, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, and a public lecture "Cultural Inclusivity and Sustainability in the New Urban Era" at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Indianapolis IN. 
          • February 7-9, 2018Scott Hutson, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky, is on campus as a Marsico Visiting Scholar to work with anthropology and geography students on theories and methods for studying urban environments. Dr. Hutson's visit is co-sponsored by Dean Saitta (Anthropology) and Paul Sutton (Geography). Dr. Hutson gives a Geography Department colloquium entitled "Very Old Urbanism as New Urbanism: Mixing at an Ancient Maya City."
          • January 12, 2018: Alumna Shaylee Zaugg reports that she's completed her studies for a Masters of Science degree in Urban Studies at University College London. Her thesis is entitled Libraryness and Publicness: A Study of Public Life in the City of London's Shoe Lane Library.
          • January 9, 2018: Ahead of the 2018 Diversity Summit, the DU Newsroom posts an essay by Dean Saitta entitled "Expanding Thought About Cities, Sustainability, and Social Justice." The essay is available at Intercultural Urbanism
          • January 3, 2018: Dean Saitta reports on the 2017 Sustainable Denver Summit and analyzes the response to the Ink Coffee incident at Planetizen .


          • December 26, 2017: The public interest urban planning website Planetizen reports its top ten "Most Popular Blog Posts" of 2017.  Coming in at #3 is a post by Dean Saitta. The story is here and the post by Saitta, "Has Placemaking Become Cliche?" is here.
          • December 1, 2017: Denver-based organizer and journalist Mimi Madrid weighs in on the Ink Coffee brouhaha at CityLab .  The comments section of her piece reflects the deep divisions around gentrification in Denver.
          • November 27, 2017: Denver's anti-gentrification protest sparked by Ink Coffee's "Happily Gentrifying the Neighborhood Since 2014" promotional sign in Five Points makes The New York Times .   The Guardian had earlier coverage and pictures.
          • November 24, 2017: Gracie Rouse, DU Anthropology major, publishes "Archaeology, Ancient Urbanism, and Cultural Heritage in Peru", to Intercultural Urbanism .
          • October 9, 2017: DU alumna and Denver activist Candi CdeBaca earns a spot on Planetizen's "The 100 Most Influential Urbanists" list. Check her out at #38.
          • September 14, 2017: Andy Goetz talks about the crazy fast Hyperloop "train in a tube" for which Denver is being considered, here and here.
          • August 21, 2017: Dean Saitta weighs in on the Confederate monuments debate at Planetizen .
          • August 14, 2017: Dean Saitta publishes an essay, "Aurora Rising", at Planetizen. The post is an account of that Colorado city's efforts to plan and design for an expanding population of immigrants and refugees.  
          • July 31, 2017: The Nation reports on the I-70 project, likening it to a new form of redlining. Program alumna Candi CdeBaca is quoted at length.
          • July 20, 2017: Program alumna Candi CdeBaca teams with Denver developer Kyle Zeppelin to inveigh against the I-70 widening project in an op-ed for the Denver Post
          • June 30, 2017: Andy Goetz opines about a proposed high speed rail line connecting Chicago's airport and downtown for Wired Magazine. 
          • June 24, 2017: DU alumna Candi CdeBaca publishes an opinion column about Denver's gentrification in a special "Perspective" section in the Denver Post.    
          • June 2, 2017: DU alumna Shaylee Zaugg reports from the Urban Studies graduate program at University College London that she's working on her dissertation addressing libraries as public spaces and everyday spaces of social encounter and community-building. She's focusing on a particular community library located within the City of London.
          • May 15, 2017: Dean Saitta publishes an analysis of the four design firm presentations to develop the "DU District" for Planetizen, entitled "Has Placemaking Become Cliche?"
          • April 28, 2017: CityLab covers Blue Trees in Denver.
          • April 18, 2017: The Denver Post updates Denver's proposed I-70 expansion project, with commentary from DU Urban Studies alumna Candi CdeBaca.  
          • April 17, 2017: Dean Saitta summarizes the 2017 Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Conference on the topic of "Creating Inclusive Communities" in an essay for Planetizen .  
          • March 24, 2017: CityLab has a story about Denver's public restroom pilot project.
          • March 14, 2017: CityLab covers ugly housing in Denver.
          • February 21, 2017: The New York Times has a story about Denver's I-70 expansion project, once again featuring DU alumna Candi CdeBaca.
          • February 17, 2017: More in the Denver Post from DU Sociology major, Urban Studies minor, and community organizer Candi CdeBaca on the I-70 project in Denver. 
          • January 17, 2017: Dean Saitta publishes an essay, "The Evolution of Green Urbanism" at Planetizen.
          • January 12, 2017: City Lab runs a long story about the proposed I-70 transformation project in Denver, aimed at reconnecting the working class neighborhoods of Elyria and Swansea. It features commentary by former DU Sociology major and Urban Studies minor Candi CdeBaca, an activist and community organizer who leads the Denver Cross Community Coalition.   
          • January 9, 2017: The New York Times features Denver in a story about homelessness and the right to occupy public space. 
          • January 3, 2017: Ron Throupe (Real Estate and Construction Management) ushers in the new year with thoughts about rental properties in Denver for 9News.


            • December 28, 2016: The New York Times features a story about the growth of Denver's River North district.
            • December 22, 2016: The public interest urban planning website Planetizen reports its top ten "Most Popular Blog Posts" of 2016. Coming in at #6 is a post by Dean Saitta. The story is here and the post by Saitta "Are Garden Cities Sustainable?", is here
            • December 21, 2016: The Urban Land Institute puts its Advisory Services Spotlight on the University of Denver. 
            • December 13, 2016: The Denver Post reports on plans to revitalize the Sun Valley neighborhood in West Denver, a project in which DU is involved. 
            • December 12, 2016: The Denver Post reports on the city's population growth, densification, and the resulting citizen frustration with urban planning. The story links to research by Andy Goetz that is described here.
            • December 8, 2016: Urban Land Magazine reports on the Urban Land Institute-Colorado's Transit Oriented Development Marketplace event held in Denver. The story is here.
            • November 21, 2016: Dean Saitta describes some lessons from the 6th Annual Rocky Mountain City Summit in a blog post for Planetizen .
            • November 16, 2016: CityGreen, a publication of the Center for Urban Greenery and Ecology in Singapore, publishes an essay by Dean Saitta entitled "Planning Sustainability: The Evolution of Green Urbanism." The full text of the essay is available here.
            • October 20, 2016: The Urban Land Institute releases its report containing recommendations for development of the "DU District", an Impact 2025 initiative.  The full report is here and a brief summary is here
            • October 1, 2016: Andy Goetz and Dean Saitta help discuss "The New (And Improved?) Denver", in the October issue of 5280 Magazine.
            • July 27, 2016: Andy Goetz talks to Colorado Public Radio about the impact of Denver's light rail system on the city's quality of life.  
            • July 21, 2016: Ron Throupe reports on "Denver's Booming Rental Market."  The Denver Post  has the story.
            • July 20, 2016: The New York Times weighs in on Denver's appeal to Millennials.
            • July 14, 2016: Guardian Cities reports on "White Privilege and Gentrification in Denver, America's Favourite City."
            • July 1, 2016: Sustainable Cities Collective re-posts "Are Garden Cities Sustainable." 
            • June 26, 2016: An abridged version of the Saitta/Cascioli/Throupe article for the Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal entitled "Are Garden Cities Sustainable?" is posted to Planetizen. 
            • June 20, 2016: DU Magazine reports on the preliminary recommendations issued by a visiting team of Urban Land Institute members regarding re-development of the neighborhood around DU.
            • June 7, 2016: Program alumnus Shaylee Zaugg writes that she will enter the Master's program in Urban Studies at University College London this coming fall.
            • May 19, 2016: Politico reports on The Train That Saved Denver.
            • May 17, 2016: Paul Sutton and Sharolyn Anderson publish "Holistic Valuation of Urban Ecosystem Services in New York City's Central Park" in Ecosystem Services 19:87-91.
            • May 10, 2016:  DU Magazine reports on a new study detailing the economic impact of the university on the city of Denver.
            • May 5, 2016:  The Washington Park Profile reports on a collaboration between DU Media, Film, and Journalism Studies professors Lynn Schofield Clark and Margie Thompson and the South High School Digital Media Club to improve RTD bus service for South High students.
            • May 2, 2016: The Denver Post reports on research by Ron Throupe (Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management) about the city's volatile rental market: vacancies down, and rents up 10% compared to this time last year. 
            • May 2016: Roberta Waldbaum publishes "Keys to the City: Opening the Gates to Italian Culture Through Literature and Film", in Fostering Culture Through Film , Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
            • April 25, 2016: Julian Agyeman headlines the 2016 Provost's Conference as the keynote speaker. DU Magazine has the story.
            • April 16, 2016: The Denver Post  interviews Andy Goetz about the new A Line Train from Union Station to Denver International Airport.  
            • March 28, 2016: DU Magazine reports recent research on Transit Oriented Development in Denver by Andy Goetz and Eric Boschmann, with Gregory Kwoka.   An earlier story about their work is at City Lab . The original research is published in Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.
            • March 2, 2016:  US News and World Report ranks Denver #1 in its list of the "Best Places to Live" in the United States. 
            • February 24, 2016: DU's Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management hosts a "Visioning Event" featuring CityCraft Ventures founder John Knott.  Presentations are available at Dropbox.
            • February, 2016: Dean Saitta, Kyle Cascioli and Ron Throupe (both in DU's Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management), publish a paper about sustainable development on Denver's exurban fringe in the Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal . Full text of the paper, "Garden Cities, Sterling Ranch, and Sustainable Urban Development in the American West" is available here.  


          • December 18, 2015: The public interest urban planning website Planetizen reports its top ten "Most Popular Blog Posts of 2015."  Coming in at #7 is a post by Dean Saitta.  The story is here and Saitta's post, "How Ancient and Modern Cities Compare (and Why Planners Should Care)" is here.
          • November 24, 2015: Dean Saitta is interviewed by City Lab for a story about better design for diverse communities.
          • June 26, 2015: Dean Saitta and Kyle Cascioli (Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management) publish a guest commentary in The Denver Post on Affordable Housing and Social Exclusion in Denver.
          • February 27, 2015: Andy Goetz and Joseph Szyliowicz (Josef Korbel School of International Studies) publish a guest commentary in The Denver Post on Denver International Airport: Lessons Revisited.
          • February 9, 2015: Urban Land Magazine profiles Denver's millennial migration.


        • April 2014: Editrice La Mandragora (Imola, Italy) publishes Contours of the City: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Study of the Urban Space , containing essays by Dean Saitta and Roberta Waldbaum (in DU's Department of Languages and Literatures).  The volume is based on a conference held in Bologna, Italy in early 2012. The conference is described here
        • September 2008-September 2012: DU partners with Portland State University, the University of Bologna, and the University of Nottingham (England) on a US Department of Education and European Commission funded Global Cities/Global Citizenship project to support student and faculty exchanges between the participating universities. DU Principal Investigators are Linda Olson (Pioneer Leadership Program), Dean Saitta (Anthropology), and Roberta Waldbaum (Languages and Literatures).


    •  March 20, 2006: DU Magazine reports an early story about the Urban Studies minor, four years after its creation.