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Eugénie Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education, Department of City and Regional Planning, Chair of the Graduate Group in City Planning, and Co-Director of Penn IUR
Mellon Foundation Awards $1.533 Million to Penn to Study the Inclusive City
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $1.533 million grant to the University of Pennsylvania for a five-year project focused on urban diversity and inclusion entitled “The Inclusive City: Past, Present, and Future.”
The project builds upon the Mellon-funded Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D) Initiative, a ground-breaking five-year collaboration by PennDesign, School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), and Penn Institute of Urban Research (Penn IUR) that brings together students and faculty to explore cities—past, present and future—examining them at the intersection of the humanities and design disciplines. “The Inclusive City” project will retain the basic structure of the original H+U+D project, with a new thematic focus on diversity and inclusion.
“We are really excited to continue all the wonderful work we have done over the past 5 years with our thanks to the generosity of the Mellon Foundation,” said Penn IUR Co-Director Eugénie Birch, who will co-lead the new initiative with Arts and Sciences Professor David Brownlee. The grant will support the continuation of undergraduate and graduate fellow research programs; courses taught jointly by design and humanities professors; seminar series; and public lectures.
“Cities have been defined throughout history by their capacity to foster and derive energy from the mixing of peoples and their ideas,” said Brownlee. “The project has twin objectives: to stimulate inter- and multi-disciplinary work on diversity and inclusion in the built environment and to build an increasingly diverse and inclusive community of scholars who do this work.”
To achieve these objectives, the project will engage almost two dozen departments across campus including: Architecture, City and Regional Planning, Fine Arts, Historic Preservation, Landscape Architecture, Africana Studies, Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, Asian American Studies, Cinema Studies, Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, English, History, History of Art, Jewish Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Music, Philosophy, South Asia Studies, Theatre Arts, Urban Studies, and Visual Studies.
“The Inclusive City” project will be co-led by David Brownlee, Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of 19th Century European Art, and Eugénie Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education, Department of City and Regional Planning, PennDesign, Chair of the Graduate Group in City Planning, and Co-Director of Penn IUR. The project will be guided by a steering committee composed of participating schools’ deans as well as faculty with expertise and interest in inclusion and diversity in the academy.
Integrate transit stops with public spaces to establish major HUBs as community gathering center. Improve streetscapes with uniform trees and planters. Install street amenities such as banners on light poles to establish and reinforce sense of place. Encourage outdoor seating to enhance street vibrancy and sense of security.