National Science Foundation and Ohio State University: Addressing the Challenges of Urbanization

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing in a portfolio of interdisciplinary activities to advance fundamental knowledge about the diverse changes associated with urbanization to help the nation and the world address the challenges and seize the tremendous opportunities of urban systems. Key questions NSF is interested in having addressed include:

  • What theories explain the structure and function of urban systems and what are the critical drivers of change?
  • What aspects and intersections of social, built, and natural systems influence the resilience and sustainability of communities and the wellbeing of the people living in them?
  • Can successful innovations in one urban system be transferred to others?
  • Can science improve forecasts and make predictions about the future states of urban systems?
  • How can communities design urban systems from within to achieve beneficial outcomes?

Ohio State University has helped organize two NSF conferences to help frame an emergent research agenda that may serve as the basis for subsequent NSF calls for research proposals.

  • Exploring a Research Network of Urban Sustainability Observatories via Data-Enabled University-Community Partnerships was held July 15-16 in Columbus and focused on mobility. It was organized by Harvey Miller (OSU – CURA), Kristin Tufte (Portland State), Kelly  Clifton (Portland State), Sathya Gopalakrishnan (OSU – AEDE), and Gulsah Akar (OSU – CRP). Click here to view the conference abstract.
  • Wasted Food and Sustainable Urban Systems: Prioritizing Research Needs will be held September 9-10 in Baltimore, MD and will focus on research needs to address wasted food in urban settings.  It is organized by Sauleh Siddiqui (Johns Hopkins), Roni Neff (Johns Hopkins) and Brian Roe (OSU – AEDE).  Click here to view the conference abstract.

If you work on food waste topics in urban settings as either a practitioner or researcher, you are encouraged to provide your thoughts on what research would be most useful to forward progress on food waste.  Please click here to complete a brief survey.

Article credits to Brian Roe

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