Episode from the podcastUrbanism Speakeasy

Anthropology (the fine art of people watching), with Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman

Released Saturday, 30th July 2016
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The relationship between cities and hinterlands

Katrina likes to figure out what makes people tick. More specifically, she’s intrigued by how people interact with the built and natural environment. How do we translate the old hunter/gatherer habits into modern contexts? Americans are congregating in metropolitan areas more than ever.

There’s a growing debate in professional planning circles about whether or not people should be spread out across nature or clumped in cities. What’s an urbanist to think?!

Creating places and spaces for people

Everyone has something to add to conversations about design (buildings, streets, parks, etc.). Jane Jacobs was notorious in the 20th century for daring to suggest “regular people” had better ideas about infrastructure than paid professionals. Now, of course, professionals quickly pledge their undying devotion to Jacobs and human-scale design.

Anthropologists have been practicing research-based analysis for ages to identify “proper” types of community change. Proper, meaning what we know about human beings as a species and the environments we create around ourselves.

Is there a balance between NIMBYism and destruction of communities (e.g. highways)? Katrina shares some ideas about the perspectives of a diverse population. And yes, she does believe professionals still have valuable contributions. image

urbanism is weird

Maybe the biggest disappointment of all time: anthropology is not exactly what we saw in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Read Katrina’s blog post on the weirdness of urbanism.

How is urbanism evolving?

This could go a million different directions. I ask Katrina how cities are changing based on the behavior of Pokemon GO app users. Kinda…

But seriously, listen to what Katrina has to say about the expanding role of technology in modern society.

Connect with Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman

Twitter: https://twitter.com/think_katrina

Website: THINK.urban

Subscribe to the new podcast Katrina is co-hosting with Kristen Jeffers: Third Wave Urbanism

Get a free anthropology audiobook!

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22m 45s
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