CAUI Receives Global Collaborative Research Grant

The Center for Architecture, Urbanism, and Infrastructure is the recipient of a grant from Princeton University’s Global Collaborative Research Fund. The award provides three years of support for a joint working group between the CAUI and the IEA (Institut d’Etudes Avancées in Paris). The CAUI and the IEA will serve as institutional anchors for the working group, whose focus will be twenty-first century urbanism and infrastructure in Europe, North America, and Asia.

The challenges facing the global city in the twenty-first century exist across national boundaries; likewise the expertise needed to solve them crosses institutional and disciplinary boundaries. The working group will bring together researchers focused on these problems and will foster collaboration on urgent issues of contemporary urbanism and infrastructure, presenting the work of Princeton faculty and graduate students in an international forum. The networking and discussion produced by the working group will enhance the standing of Princeton’s scholars abroad while simultaneously enriching the intellectual environment in their home departments. Additionally, leveraging the CAUI’s existing connections with China, this project will position the CAUI as a pivot between Asian and European networks.

Twenty-First Century Infrastructure

The grant allows the center to pursue a research project on Twenty-First Century Infrastructure to explore alternative ways of thinking about urban infrastructure in the new century. Today, the city is everywhere and nowhere. In an era of urbanization and globalization, cities and metropolitan regions around the globe are increasingly marked by the spatial effects of the distributed networks of communication, resources, finance, and migration that characterize contemporary life. Preeminently spatial, the emergence of a global urban culture has had complicated aesthetic, economic, physical, political, and social effects. To explore these issues, scholars from the CAUI, the Institute d’Etudes Avancées in Paris, and China will present their research in a series of seminars and working sessions on selected topics such as Transportation, Energy, Digital Infrastructure, Water and Landscape, and Design. The CAUI research agenda recognizes the need for an expertise that is able to bridge national, institutional and disciplinary boundaries in order to confront the problems facing global cities and regions. The project brings together diverse scholarship to better understand how urban infrastructure can respond to the challenges of a new century.

The Global Collaborative Research Fund will support a coordinated collective research exchange, which would manifest itself as a series of seminars, workshops, conferences, web and print publications, and public dialogues. Here in Princeton, the Center would offer a regular inter-faculty seminar (including advanced graduate students and outside visitors) on urban topics that would enable faculty to share their research and expertise. The Center is currently planning the first seminar on Transportation to be held in Princeton in Fall 2009.