ASU planning professor receives Guggenheim Fellowship

portrait of ASU professor Emily Talen

Emily Talen, a professor in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, has been selected for one of this year’s prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships. The fellowship program selected 178 scholars, artists and scientists from among almost 3,000 applicants.

Talen will hold the fellowship from July 2014 through June 2015. She plans to use her fellowship year to work on a book about neighborhoods, to be published by the University of Chicago Press.

“The book is ‘all things neighborhood,'” Talen explained. “I’ll explore how they’re idealized, abstracted, attributed effects, designed, bounded, fought over. There will be a lot of graphics, as I’m interested in comparing how neighborhoods as designs and neighborhoods as ‘real’ places contrast.”

The book will compare neighborhoods through all time periods and all places and cultures – Talen already has more than 2,000 sources on the topic.

“My task is to try to make sense of it all, tease out the big picture and think about what neighborhoods have to do with the future sustainable city," commented Talen.

Talen’s research interests include urban form, sustainable cities, new urbanism and social equity. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles on these topics, and has four sole-authored books: "New Urbanism and American Planning: The Conflict of Cultures," "Design for Diversity," "Urban Design Reclaimed," and "City Rules." In looking at urban form, a key question for Talen is what these forms mean for social interactivity – for example, do certain city patterns create a “sense of community”?

Talen is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Urbanism and serves on the editorial boards of Open Urban Studies Journal and Urban Morphology. She is an elected member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Recent recognition includes selection of "The Charter of the New Urbanism," edited by Talen and published in 2013 as one of the year’s 10 best books in urban planning, design and development. Planetizen, a highly-respected planning news website, developed this list. In 2009, a poll conducted by Planetizen identified Talen as one of the “Top 100 Urban Thinkers” – a list that included only nine women.

Guggenheim Fellows are chosen on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. This year’s fellows are from 56 disciplines, 83 academic institutions, 29 states and two Canadian provinces.

Since its establishment in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has granted over $315 million in fellowships to almost 17,700 individuals, a group that includes numerous Nobel laureates and poets laureate, as well as winners of Pulitzer Prizes, Fields Medals and other internationally recognized honors.

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.