Cities: Routes to Reinvention A multi-disciplinary project led by Diane Haigh,2012-13 Annenberg Scholar at Principia College

In cooperation with Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group (ONSL), Principia College is sponsoring an interdisciplinary study program, “Cities: Routes to Reinvention.”
The program will culminate in a roundtable workshop on Tuesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Principia College. Students and members from ONSL, a neighborhood-based community development corporation committed to revitalizing the economic and social dimensions of the Old North neighborhood, will present field study and academic research. A panel of distinguished guests will discuss the issues of city growth and explore the following questions:What is the role of community building in neighborhood development?How can we retain the unique identity of historic neighborhoods during redevelopment?Can sustainable development support high-quality urban lifestyles in the 21st century?

Internationally known architect, Diane Haigh, Principia College’s 2012-13 Annenberg Scholar, will chair the event. Haigh is currently on campus to actively engage with students and faculty. A Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, England, Haigh teaches architecture and is a practicing architect with Cambridge Architectural Research and Allies and Morrison Architects in London. She was involved in refurbishing Royal Festival Hall in London and the new planetarium for The Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Haigh also served on special design review panels for the legacy master plan for 2012 Olympics infrastructure projects. 

Working closely with Principia College faculty in virtually all academic disciplines—economics, history, political science, English, religion, sustainability, art, theatre, music, and mass communications—Haigh will engage students in a series of seminars and field studies in conjunction with Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group.

“Current urban analysts see a trend of people moving back to urban areas,” Haigh explains. “City growth since the 1950s and 60s tended to be on the peripheries in vast new suburbs, while city centers emptied. A so-called Fifth Migration is taking place, resulting in design initiatives looking at how to reclaim historic central zones to reestablish community living. This pattern is playing out in St. Louis, providing an excellent opportunity for Principia students to consider these complex global issues which touch the lives of so many people.”

Principia’s studio art department will publish a book forming a record of student and community work on the “Cities” project, including contributions from program participants. “Case-study work brings class learning to life,” Haigh says. “This entire enterprise presents an opportunity for Principia students to engage with the local area and be part of a larger discussion on urban issues.”

The public is invited to attend the roundtable workshop in Wanamaker Hall on April 2 at 7:30 p.m. Campus tours will also be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. A complimentary light supper will be served at 6 p.m. with an RSVP. There is no admission fee. Please respond to Note on the Annenberg Scholar: Principia College received a grant from the Annenberg Foundation in 2006 to endow the Annenberg Visiting Scholar program for the purpose of bringing leading scholars, diplomats, writers, and civic leaders to campus for short-term teaching and writing opportunities. 

About Principia College:
Principia College is a century-old co-educational institution whose campus, designed by Bernard Maybeck and located on 300-foot bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in Elsah, Illinois, has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Historically, the College has placed significant emphasis on educating its students for global citizenship. Today’s student body represents 35 states and 25 nations. Principia College is a NCAA Division III school. 

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