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

Refugee Farmer Teaching Handbook

This handbook is for staff providing training and technical assistance (T&TA) in immigrant and refugee farmer-training programs. This foundational and practical handbook provides basic explanations of certain teaching theories, as well as tips for applying them in the design and delivery of T&TA. This handbook was developed by Dani M. Scherer with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Twelve refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on the content of this guide. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

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.

American Community Survey Provides New State and Local Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau released its most detailed look at America’s people, places, and economy. New state and local statistics on income, poverty, and health insurance are available in briefs, detailed tables, data profiles, and more. The American Community Survey (ACS) also produces statistics for more than 40 other topics. “Each completed survey is important because it is a building block used to create statistics about communities in America,” said Census Bureau American Community Survey Office Chief Donna Daily. “This information provides an important tool for communities to make data-driven decisions, assess the past, and plan for the future.” Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: The United States Census Bureau

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

Heroes Garden Graduation

Eighteen active duty military veterans recently graduated from a five month farming and gardening training program called the Heroes Garden. The project was a collaboration between the Franklin County Office of OSU Extension and the Central Ohio Veterans Administration Healthcare System. Veterans participated in classroom sessions on urban farming and gardening topics in the early spring and then planted and maintained a vegetable garden at the new Extension Teaching and Learning Gardens at Waterman Farm on campus.
Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: OSU Franklin County Extension

America Still Loves Cars, But Some Cities Are Starting to Ditch Them

For years, many cities have pushed their residents to adopt car-free lifestyles. Doing so can help limit further traffic congestion and pollution, while also saving people money and improving their physical fitness. By and large, though, the vast majority of Americans aren’t ready to ditch their vehicles. According to the latest Census Bureau estimates, only 8.7 percent of U.S. households reported not having any vehicles available last year. That’s actually down slightly from a year ago and is at about the same level as before the Great Recession. Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: Governing

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