Mellon Foundation Awards $1.2 million to Princeton University for Renewal of Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities Initiative

Thursday, May 4, 2017
by ashkuda


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $1.2 million to Princeton University for a second three-year period of the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities. Housed within the School of Architecture, the Princeton-Mellon Initiative (PMI) supports graduate and undergraduate courses, a fellowship program, and public programming. Princeton is one of more than a dozen research universities and institutes in the US, Canada, Great Britain, and South Africa that the Mellon Foundation engages and connects through its Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities initiative.

Led by Stan Allen, The George Dutton '27 Professor of Architecture, Bruno Carvalho, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and Alison Isenberg, Professor of History, the Princeton-Mellon Initiative catalyzed teaching and research on campus around the theme, Cities of the Americas: Architecture, Society, Policy, and Culture. The renewed PMI program, Cities on the Edge: Hemispheric Comparisons and Connections, will continue its innovative work bridging architecture, the humanities, and environmental studies through a comparative approach to urbanism and architecture along South-North, East-West, South-South, and North-North lines. The Initiative will engage new units on campus, foster research and teaching collaborations across disciplines and regional boundaries, and support engaged urban design and scholarship that seeks to contribute to better urban futures. Joining Alison Isenberg to guide the project into its second phase will be Mario Gandelsonas, professor of architectural design and Class of 1913 Lecturer in Architecture.

PMI funding will assist Princeton faculty in expanding existing courses and developing new ones focused on urbanism.  Beginning in Fall 2018, Urban Studies certificate students will take an interdisciplinary design studio launched through the Initiative and co-taught by faculty from the School of Architecture and the humanities.

The Council for the Humanities and the Princeton Environmental Institute will co-sponsor Fellows in the PMI program. Scholars across a variety of academic departments will provide fresh perspectives on critical scientific and policy frameworks currently shaping urban agendas around the world, such as smart cities, resilient cities, and healthy communities.

The Mellon Research Forum on the Urban Environment, which allows faculty and students to present and discuss their research, will continue to serve as the intellectual core of the program. In addition to the Forum, a range of programming will be open to the public. Please visit for an up-to-date list of courses, events, and opportunities for collaboration. For specific questions, please contact Aaron Shkuda at