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 the School of Design (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—and examines 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 five 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. Dr. Brownlee is the Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of 19th Century European Art; Dr. Birch is the Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education, Department of City and Regional Planning, School of Design, chair of the Graduate Group in City Planning and co-director of Penn IUR. 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 Dr. 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 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.