Eve Blau, adjunct professor of the history of urban form, has received a collaborative research grant with Heather Woofter, professor and chair of graduate architecture at Washington University, and Michael Allen, director of St. Louis’s Preservation Research Office, from Washington University’s The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative. Their research project, entitled Citizen Space in North St. Louis, will examine the role of government influence on the formation and division of public spaces in St. Louis.
As described on its website, the Mellon-funded Divided City is a joint project of Washington University’s Center for the Humanities and the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design. The four-year initiative aims to bring humanities scholars into productive, interdisciplinary dialogue with architects, urban designers, landscape architects, legal scholars, sociologists, geographers, GIS cartographers, and others around the issue of segregation.
The initiative focuses on how segregation has and often continues to play out as a set of spatial practices in cities, neighborhoods, and public spaces, including schools, health facilities, and entertainment venues. Using the St. Louis metropolitan area as a main research site, the initiative intends to explore the intersecting social and spatial practices of urban separation locally and globally.
Faculty collaborative grants are one of several of The Divided City’s specific initiatives. Others include archiving material on the history of St. Louis and school and community outreach. The Divided City was a partner for the recent conference “Voices & Visions of St. Louis: Past, Present, Future” at the GSD, organized by the GSD’s urban planning and design chair Diane Davis.