I am a Professor of Urbanism at the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago does not have a “department of urbanism” (nor for that matter, urban planning or architecture), so my academic home is the “Social Sciences Division.” It works.
My focus is the built environment and how it intersects with social and environmental things — like social justice, civic life, and diversity. While pursuing these topics, I spent 8 years at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), 9 years at Arizona State, and I am now newly arrived (2016) at the University of Chicago. Before I became an academic, I was an urban planner with the City of Santa Barbara.
My M.O. is pretty straightforward: that the built environment matters a lot. Through my research, I look for ways to improve the form and pattern of American cities and neighborhoods so that they can be more inclusive, supportive, and inspiriting.