Urban (In)Equality and Materiality: A Global, Deep Time Perspective
Dean Saitta, University Of Denver (Archaeology)
Scholarly research suggests that the more inclusive and equitable a city, the more prosperous and sustainable it is overall. Today, race and class-based segregations continue to plague cities worldwide. To remedy these inequalities, we need to look for new sources of ideas about urban planning and policy. This talk considers the 6000-year history of city building as one such source. Ancient cities in Asia, Africa, and the Americas are wellsprings of learning about equitable urbanism. They illustrate collective governance in the distribution of life-sustaining resources. They demonstrate effective resource sharing across ethnic and ecological boundaries. They show how public space can accommodate the masses, delight the senses, and cultivate a shared identity and destiny. Together, ancient cities tell some different stories about social being and belonging in urban contexts, and implicate alternative principles and pathways for building the equitable city.