Mellon Forum: Land, Law & Speculative Urban Futures

Spaces of Belonging // Fall 2023 Mellon Forum on the Urban Environment
Sep 13, 2023, 12:00 pm1:30 pm
School of Architecture


Event Description

Land, Law & Speculative Urban Futures

With Shelia Crane, UVA, and Greg Valdespino, Princeton-Mellon Fellow

Urban landscapes described as bidonvilles­­––a Francophone term for shantytown first coined in the late 1920s in Casablanca––have repeatedly been framed as spontaneous, unplanned, or illegal developments, a status that has helped to ensure their broader spatial and social exclusion. However, the histories of many of these sites reveals quite the opposite. Maghrebi property owners and residents repeatedly leveraged the gaps and opportunities written into legal frameworks that instituted the defining distinctions between citizen and subject, civil and customary law, which had ensured territorial dispossession on a vast scale. The canny navigation of co-existing legal regimes facilitated potent strategies of city-building, whether embracing conventions of hospitality, asserting administrative autonomy, or enacting speculative futures.


This is a hybrid event. Attend in person at the School of Architecture, or register for the zoom webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The Fall 2023 Mellon Forum on the Urban Environment is kindly sponsored by the Mellon Foundation and the Princeton University Humanities Council, Program in Latin American Studies, Center for Collaborative History, Departments of Art & Archaeology and English, HMEI, PIIRS, SPIA, and the School of Architecture.

Mellon Forum events are free and open to the public. Boxed lunches are available while supplies last.