2015 News Archive

In the news...


URB310 Students explore artists' roles in remaking cities, with a focus on Detroit during F2015 break

Professor Doug Massey’s research featured in New York Times September 15, 2015 editorial “How Segregation Destroys Black Wealth” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/opinion/how-segregation-destroys-black-wealth.html?ref=todayspaper 



Makenna May 2015 archive

In Athens, Princeton, Urban Studies certificate student Makenna May '17 sees Greek economic crisis up close








2015 Urban Studies Certificate Program Graduates 

2015 Urban Studies Thesis Prize Winners 

Congratulations! to Azza Cohen, Program in Urban Studies, junior named one of the winners of the 2015 Spirit of Princeton Award, honoring Princeton University undergraduates for positive contributions to campus life. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the undergraduate experience through dedicated efforts in student organizations, athletics, community service, religious life, residential life and the arts. http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S43/14/38E54/index.xml?section=topstories 


Misha Semenov valedictorian - highlights 2015 archive

Misha Semenov named valedictorian, Class of 2015! Congratulations Misha!

Certificate Program in


Urban Studies Senior Thesis Colloquium Presenters - April 21, 2015 

“Playing by the Rules:  Examining the Interactions of Rules with Built Form in Five Seminal American Housing Projects," by Architecture Senior Misha Semenov:

Architects are used to thinking of the housing they build as a final, fixed form, but we all know that this is never the case—buildings are constantly undergoing a process of user-generated modification. What if architecture harnessed the power of the user instead of repressing it? My thesis holds up a critical lens to the interaction between built form, guiding rules, and the behavior of residents in five significant housing projects in the Americas, paying particular attention to the role of larger political and economic frameworks in shaping these systems and their outcomes. By analyzing these projects as open systems with rules, we can begin to discover parallels between seemingly disparate projects, independent of the stylistic stigmas that surround them. Specific architectural and urban design features of each project serve as case studies: the basic nucleus, its windows, structural walls, and yards. How are these elements controlled, and how do they in turn control the inhabitants of these projects? By questioning each project’s social agenda and analyzing its physical form architecturally—as planned and following occupancy—the thesis attempts to establish a firmer basis for the broader and more effective use of rules by architects, whether in low-income housing or high-end development, whether encoded in structure, custom or law, adding a twist to the idea of environmental determinism by defining an architectural environment as more than just the built form.



Kathryn Scott - highlights - 2015 archive

“Trapped in the Margins: Improving Interventions for Homeless Transition Age Youth in Los Angeles,” by WWS Senior, Kathryn Scott:

Homelessness intervention, legislation, and research efforts have consistently and detrimentally overlooked the transition age youth who comprise the majority of unaccompanied homeless youth in the United States. Transition age youth (TAY), who are typically between the ages of 18 and 24, face significant risks and challenges. They are more likely to become chronically homeless adults and generate lifetime costs to society. Trapped between adolescence and adulthood, TAY require interventions that focus on transitioning them into leading self-sufficient lives.
Los Angles (LA) County in California is a critical area for policy intervention, given that California has nearly a third of the nation’s homeless youth and LA County has over 4,000 homeless TAY on a given night. This thesis aims to demonstrate the distinct and problematic nature of TAY homelessness, identify the major gaps in interventions and barriers to service utilization, and propose TAY-appropriate policy and program changes that will open the front door to needed services and ultimately help transition youth into stable adulthood in LA. In addition to document review and policy analysis, I conducted two surveys to support my objectives: a survey of homeless youth service providers and agencies in LA and California, and a survey of homeless TAY at a drop-in center in Hollywood. 

Class snapshot: 'Environmental Challenges and Urban Solutions'
This spring, 12 Princeton undergraduates are joining forces in the interdisciplinary course "Environmental Challenges and Urban Solutions" to confront urbanization and environmental problems and to rethink traditional theories about nature and city dynamics.
The instructors: The class is co-taught by Mario Gandelsonas, the Class of 1913 Lecturer in Architecture, and Bruno Carvalho, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures.

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University is pleased to announce its selection of the 2016 cohort of the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI). Established in 2006, SINSI is designed to encourage, support and prepare the nation’s top students to pursue careers in the U.S. federal government, in both international and domestic agencies. The goal of the highly competitive scholarship program is to provide the rigorous academic preparation, language skills and workplace skills needed to succeed and make a difference in the public policy arena. 



Jamal Johnson - highlights 2015 archive

Jamal Johnson of Tomball, Texas, is a politics major (and Urban Studies certificate student) focusing on American politics and a certificate candidate in political economy, urban studies and statistics and machine learning. Johnson, who is passionate about combatting urban poverty, has focused his academic work on urban political economy. He is particularly fascinated by questions related to the role of place in the construction of identity, and this fascination drives his further interests in urban education and housing policy. Johnson interned with the New Jersey Department of Education in spring 2014 and with the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity in summer 2014. At Princeton, he has worked as a research assistant in the Department of Politics, developing his skills as a data analyst and researcher, and, in July 2014, he participated in an international seminar on history, memory and the urban future in Shanghai, China. In summer 2013, he attended Princeton in Beijing. On campus, Jamal is an editor of Revisions: A Journal of Christian Perspective, a coordinator for Manna Christian Fellowship’s open discussion group and public lecture series and a member of the Princeton Debate Panel. 

See more at: http://wws.princeton.edu/news-and-events/news/item/students-selected-2016-scholars-nations-service-initiative#sthash.TTeFD9Cn.dpuf


Princeton News: Student documentaries tell stories of Trenton, its people and their jobs.

Recently posted Urban Studies story below about the students of URB 202/SOC 208 “Documentary Film and the City” and Instructor Purcell Carson.




Mish Award - highlights

September 8, 2014 – Michael (Misha) Semenov, Urban Studies Certificate senior. is one of the recipients of The George B. Wood Legacy Sophomore Prize presented each year to a


member of the junior class in recognition of exceptional academic achievement during the sophomore year. Read more...




Douglas Massey - highlights

August 14, 2014 – Douglas Massey received two awards from the American Sociological Association, including distinguished career achievement recognition. Doug is Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School. Director, Office of Population Research. Director, Program in Population Studies. Director, Program in Urban Studies.