Urban October: World Habitat Day Celebrated in Mexico City

The children of the Rey Poeta orchestra filed onto the stage at Mexico City’s Anthropology Museum Monday morning clutching recycled instruments made from buckets, bits of piping, and plastic bottles. This was an innovative way to illustrate the 2019 World Habitat Day theme of Frontier technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth. The Museum’s auditorium was packed with over 300 dignitaries, politicians, experts, academics, NGOs, and young people and from round the world eager to share innovative ideas. The Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, told a packed audience “We are facing a global waste management challenge on a global scale that requires urgent action. Our cities produce 7 to 10 billion tonnes of waste a year and current rubbish collection services don’t even reach half of the urban population in low-income countries.” Full video linked here. Outside the auditorium, participants signed a large board pledging to rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle their waste. This pledge echoes the UN-Habitat Waste Wise Cities campaign which encourages cities to sign up to promote sustainable waste management and has so far attracted over 80 cities. This year World Habitat Day celebrations were held across the world including Cameroon, Kenya, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Last year over 80 cities, towns and communities celebrated the day. Follow this link to learn more about World Habitat Day.

Sourced from: UN-Habitat

Urban Food Agenda: A Perspective from the City of Toronto

With the impact of climate change and urbanization growing rapidly, cities are called to act and redesign their urban policies to ensure a healthy life to their citizens. In this context, FAO recently launched the “FAO Framework for the Urban Food Agenda,” which encourages local and national governments to adopt a Food Systems approach in their public policies, in order to face environmental crises and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals also at a local level. The seminar foresees an interactive discussion after a presentation by Ms. Barbara Emanuel on the case from the city of Toronto, which leveraged on climate change action and a Food Systems approach to improving the life of its communities. Ms. Barbara Emanuel is currently Manager of the Toronto Food Strategy, which proposes an innovative vision for Toronto’s food, integrating health, climate change action, city-building, and systems transformation. This discussion will provide an opportunity to understand how Food Systems are able to fight climate crises, fostering sustainable cities with inclusive urban policies that promote safe nutriment and new food procurement strategies: from food loss and waste reduction to influencing public’s dietary behavior. The proposed actions reflect the commitments outlined in the C40 Good Food Cities Declaration, with scientific evidences enforcing the need to introduce this approach at any level, as FAO’s core mission through the Urban Food Agenda.

The seminar on Tuesday, October 15 will be held in Rome, Italy. You can join via Skype (5-6:30 a.m. EDT) at this Link.

Strategic Doing: Leading Complex Collaborations, The Ohio State University

In this 2.5 day training, you’ll learn how to begin thinking differently about collaboration, how to help groups have different, and more productive kinds of conversations, and how to make sure conversation turns into action. There will be a simulation for the first two days of the training, and you’ll be learning Strategic Doing by doing it – as well as plenty of time for unpacking why it works so you can make it your own. On the last half-day, you’ll have time to consider how to start using Strategic Doing to approach your own challenges, and get assistance from the instructors as well as your peers. Participants will receive a copy of the book: Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership (Wiley, 2019), a workbook, as well as access to an online library of resources. The workshop will start on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 8 a.m. and conclude Friday, November 8 at 1 p.m. Follow this link to access event details.

Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Strategic Doing

Urban Air Quality Speaker Series: Dr. Michelle Bell

Air Quality is quickly becoming a global health crisis, especially in highly urbanized areas. Urban air pollution depends on many factors, ranging from meteorological conditions to geographic factors. Guest speaker, Dr. Michelle Bell is an expert in urban air quality and will bring new insights to this topic. Dr. Bell’s research investigates how human health is affected by atmospheric systems, including air pollution and weather. Other areas of interest in research include health impacts of climate change and environmental justice. Much of her work is based in epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental engineering. Her research is designed to be targeted toward policy makers to contribute to well-informed decision-making. The conference will be held Friday, October 4, 2019  from 12-1 p.m. in Thomas Library, room 165. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: The Ohio State University

Conference Inspires Educator to Think About How to Help Residents Develop Careers

As a first-time participant of the National Urban Extension Conference (NUEC), I was delighted to be surrounded by Extension professionals who work within similarly diverse counties as the one I serve. Two specific things stuck with me from the conference. One was how D’Argagnan Scorza, from UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability and also Founder and Director of the Social Justice Learning Institute, challenged attendees to identify “what we do as Extension professionals.” After leaving us to think, he provided his answer “we develop.” The other presentation that stuck with me was a workforce development presentation by Geniphyr Ponce-Pore from Colorado State University. She connected 4-H’s Life Skill Wheel to the soft skills many employers seek as the basis of hiring. So, as an agricultural and natural resources (ANR) educator who is working to “develop” residents in the arena of agriculture and horticulture, how do I use this to inspire programing?

Building future career pools. The idea of building future career pools for nurseries, greenhouses, garden centers, and farms is exciting. Cross-programing 4-H and ANR could be a great opportunity to do so. Youth often only consider careers they are exposed to and see people like themselves in. In urban settings this doesn’t often include ag careers. I was left with the question of, how can I work with 4-H to widen those horizons, expose youth to careers they might have not otherwise considered? 4-H provides the soft skills and beyond. How can ANR provide the base of technical skills, experiences on farms and in greenhouses, and an introduction to the industry?

Working with adults seeking careers. In Cuyahoga, I already do some work to “develop people” who are seeking agricultural careers. We have a program called Market Gardener Training, and its goal is to allow people to learn what it takes to start their own farm business. The participants are interested in urban agriculture as a source of income and a way to provide fresh foods to their community. We have had more than 200 participants and continue to see interest year after year. The motivation to start a farm business is strong, however for some participants the agriculture and business development skills are not—this leaves people with an incredibly steep learning curve to climb.

After listening to the workforce development presentation, it got me thinking about methods and partners that could help participants climb fast. A review of new and beginning farmer programs advises practitioners to go beyond classroom lectures, to include on-farm experiential-learning, online resources, and support in building social and knowledge networks (Niewolny & Lillard, 2010). In the way of partners, there are workforce development agencies in Cleveland that focus on getting people into new careers quickly. I have a sense that workforce development agencies know the struggle of a steep learning curve and working with people who need to climb fast. I am interested in connecting with local workforce development agencies to better understand the strategies they use to address these struggles.

I still have much to explore. If anyone is working on building future career pools or working with adults seeking careers, I am interested to connect on the topic. Like the advice I give to beginning farmers, I am open to listening and learning from others for best practices and lessons learned. In this case, relating to developing people into agriculture and horticulture careers.

Niewolny, K. L., & Lillard, P. T. (2010). Expanding the boundaries of beginning farmer training and program development: A review of contemporary initiatives to cultivate a new generation of American farmers. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 1(1), 65–88. Retrieved from https://www.foodsystemsjournal.org/index.php/fsj/article/view/11/4

 

Article Courtesy of Margaret Rivera, Agriculture and Natural Resource Educator, Cuyahoga County.

Registration is Open for the 2019 Ohio Food Policy Summit

Join Ohio Food Policy Network for the 9th Annual Ohio Food Policy Summit on Monday, October 28, 2019 at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, hosted by the Ohio Food Policy Network and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. The Summit will kick-off with a morning workshop “Redesigning the Table: Using Equity and Systems for Collective Action,” which will be led by Johns Hopkins University’s Food Policy Network that is intended to strengthen and equip Ohio’s local food policy councils. This workshop is designed for members of local food policy councils, but anyone interested is welcome to register and attend.
Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Ohio Food Policy Network

National Urban Extension Leaders Caucus Planning Survey

The 2020 NUEL Caucus planning team held it’s first meeting on August 22, 2019. Below is a tentative summary of the meeting:

  • Caucus Tentative Dates: May 14 & 15 or May 18 & 19 depending on availability of facilities and lodging
  • Caucus Location: Madison, WI
  • The local team in Madison, WI will assist with logistics planning
  • Five leadership themes of resources, systemic equity/cultural competency, healthcare, program delivery in urban areas, and technology were identified
  • Caucus members will be asked for input on topics

Please help NUEL by submitting topics you would like to explore during the Caucus by completing this survey, available until October 5, 2019. Please share with your urban colleagues who might be interested in attending the Caucus. The results of the survey will be presented during their next Caucus meeting on October 28, 2019.

Sourced from: NUEL

Great Lakes Ag Tech Summit

Join Urban Ag News, Hort Americas, and Current, powered by GE, for the inaugural Great Lakes Ag Tech Summit on Monday, September 23, 2019. The summit will be held at at the historic Nela Park campus in Cleveland, Ohio. The one-day event features keynote presentations and panel discussions from leading researchers and innovative growers in the Great Lakes region. Attendees will be able to connect with growers, scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs as we shape the future of food and move controlled environment agriculture forward. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Urban Ag News