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Engaging Ideas

Seeking Sustainable Urbanism

Challenges facing growing cities and metropolitan areas

This Engaging Idea explores the challenges of urban growth and the importance of thoughtful planning and policy development to the future of urban areas.


picture of Andrew Goetz

Andrew R. Goetz is a Professor in the Department of Geography & the Environment and a faculty associate in the Transportation Institute and the Urban Studies Program at the University of Denver. He is a co-author of the books Metropolitan Denver: Growth and Change in the Mile-High City (forthcoming 2018) and Denver International Airport: Lessons Learned (1997) and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on topics including transportation infrastructure and urban/economic growth, rail transit systems, transit-oriented development, smart growth planning, sustainability, high-speed rail, intermodal transportation, transport geography, air transportation, airport planning, and globalization.

He is currently a member of the Statewide Freight Advisory Council and the State Freight and Passenger Rail Plan Working Group at the Colorado Department of Transportation, and has served on the Denver International Airport (DIA) Community Focus Group, the Transportation Advisory Committee for the City and County of Denver's Strategic Transportation Plan, and the Transportation Advisory Committee for the Denver Regional Council of Governments [DRCOG]. Dr. Goetz served as associate editor of the Journal of Transport Geography from 2004-2012, and still serves on its editorial board along with those of Transport Reviews and the World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research. He received the 2010 Edward L. Ullman Award from the American Association of Geographers for Significant Contributions to Transportation Geography.

 More on the Subject


  1. Ehrenhalt, Alan. 2012. The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City. New York: Knopf.
  2. Gallagher, Leigh. 2013. The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving. New York: Portfolio/Penguin.
  3. Gillham, Oliver. 2002. The Limitless City: A Primer on the Urban Sprawl Debate. Washington, DC: The Island Press.
  4. Hall, Peter. 2014. Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design Since 1880, 4th edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  5. Schiller, Preston L. and Jeffrey R. Kenworthy. 2017. An Introduction to Sustainable Transportation, 2nd edition. New York: Routledge.

American Planning Association
Urban Land Institute

Questions for personal reflection or group discussion

  1. What is your vision for your city and/or metropolitan area?
  2. Where is your city/metro area today regarding growth, transportation, and land use?
  3. What needs to be done to go from where your city/metro area is now and move toward your vision for the city/metro area?
  4. What can you personally do to support that effort?

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