Dumbarton Oaks
Cities Studied

World,

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

John Beardsley
Director of Garden and Landscape Studies

PROJECT MANAGER

Jeanne Haffner
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies, Dumbarton Oaks

The Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks is structured to acknowledge the current importance of sustainability, adaptability, and resilience, while encouraging a greater historical awareness of these concepts. The themes will promote an understanding of cities as landscape systems by inviting engagement with such topics as topography, hydrology, climate, and urban form; landscape and public history; the urban/rural interface; urban biodiversity; productive urban landscapes; the repurposing of derelict urban spaces; and informal urbanism. In these ways, the project seeks to enlarge the discourse of landscape urbanism, still relatively professionalized and Western in focus, to encompass a wide range of cultures and topics.

Sample Projects

Fellowships and Invitational Residencies

New semester-long fellowships are available for designers and academics and shorter-term invitational residencies are offered for senior practitioners.

Academic Events

A series of academic events create a framework for interactions among resident scholars and practitioners, along with other humanities scholars at Dumbarton Oaks and neighboring academic institutions.  One example is the newly created Mellon Midday Dialogues, a sequence of informal talks to Dumbarton Oaks fellows and staff by outside scholars, public officials, artists, community activists, designers, and others engaged in contemporary urban landscape issues.

Public Programs

A series of public programs—including lectures, colloquia, workshops, and publications—will disseminate the initiative’s work locally, nationally, and internationally. Examples include the Frontiers in Urban Landscape Research graduate workshop in November 2015, the "River Cities" symposium in May 2015, and a joint event with the Mellon Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the fall of 2016.

Public Outreach

Outreach to high school students in Washington, DC, including programs with the Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering High School, the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) Mentors Afterschool Program, the DC Collaborative, and the Washington Architecture Institute and contributions to programming and projects at the National Building Museum and Anacostia Community Museum (Smithsonian); to undergraduate students at Georgetown University through participation in the teaching of a course on modern cities; and to graduate students in design and ecology who participated in the “Earth Stewardship Initiative” at the August 2015 meeting of the Ecological Society of America. A summer workshop on landscape and landscape urbanism for graduate students will be offered in the summer of 2016.

Resources

Food and the City: Histories of Culture and Cultivation

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Food and the City: Histories of Culture and Cultivation

Institution:

Dumbarton Oaks,

Category:

Publications

Locations:

Global,

Food and the City explores the physical, social, and political relations between the production of food and urban settlements. Edited by Dorothée Imbert, its thirteen essays discuss the multiple scales and ideologies of productive landscapes--from market gardens in sixteenth-century Paris to polder planning near mid-twentieth century Amsterdam to opportunistic agriculture in today's Global South--and underscore the symbiotic connection between productive landscape and urban form across times and geographies.

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Frontiers in Urban Landscape Research

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Frontiers in Urban Landscape Research

Institution:

Dumbarton Oaks,

Locations:

Washington, DC,

Doctoral candidates in advanced stages of writing dissertations on topics in the history and design of urban landscapes were invited to share selected aspects of their work with each other and with senior designers and scholars in the field.

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Harvard-Dumbarton Oaks Semester-Long Fellowships

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Harvard-Dumbarton Oaks Semester-Long Fellowships

Institution:

Dumbarton Oaks,

Category:

Funding

Locations:

Washington, DC,

Dumbarton Oaks, affiliated with the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is one of the few institutions in the world with a program devoted to garden and landscape studies that is targeted at both humanities scholars and landscape practitioners. The Mellon Fellowships are intended to expand significantly the opportunities for both of these groups, building constructive dialogue between them about the history and future of urban landscapes.

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River Cities: Historical and Contemporary

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River Cities: Historical and Contemporary

Institution:

Dumbarton Oaks,

Locations:

Washington, DC,

This workshop builds dialogue between designers and scholars to address the landscape consequences of advancing urbanization

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All auh Resources  >