Agricultural systems in metropolitan regions and in adjacent, nonmetro counties account for more than two-thirds of U.S. net farm income and 97% of net farm income in Pennsylvania. But, can food systems in these urbanized landscapes remain economically and environmentally sustainable in the face of development pressure and perceived disamenities associated with agriculture? A team led by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences researchers is almost a year into a five-year study aimed at providing answers to this question. Follow this link to learn more.
Local governments everywhere are showing resilience, speed, and innovative spirit in the face of an unprecedented crisis. They are taking risks, failing, and learning as they go. But this spirit of experimentation and learning from failure is all too rare in local government. Join this webinar for an expert panel where city leaders, technologists, and innovators discuss why it is usually so hard to learn from failure in government and what governments and their allies can do about it. The panel discussion is taking place Thursday, August 6, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT. Follow this link to learn more.
Students, leaders in academic research and Extension, community organizers and changemakers in urban food systems and agriculture are invited to register for the 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium held virtually on Wednesdays in October. Attendees will share and gain knowledge on urban food systems and their role in global food security. This symposium includes knowledge on: urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, climate change, nutrition, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, food access and justice, and food sovereignty. Follow this link to learn more.
With widespread food insecurity across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were called in March to support regional food bank warehouses and local pantries. In addition to that support, about 15 Guard members helping at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank had a unique task assigned to them at an off-site location – build an urban farm. The Mid-Ohio Farm on the Hilltop in the Hilltop neighborhood just west of downtown Columbus will provide the food bank with quick access to fresh, local produce while also serving as a place to provide hands-on education for the local communities. Follow this link to read more.
The Global Urban Lecture Series is an initiative by UN-Habitat’s partnership with universities worldwide, UNI to bring the knowledge and experiences of urban experts associated with the agency’s work to a wide audience. The series reaches not only the general public but also the 185 partner universities of UNI, and is currently being used both for personal further education purposes and professional training.
The series is free and consists of 15-minute lectures on urban topics related to the focus areas of UN-Habitat. Besides the video, each lecture includes a synopsis, a biography of the speaker, an MP3 file, and links to additional reading material for further study. Follow this link to learn more.
It’s been four years since the city of Columbus was declared the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart Cities Challenge. Now, several grant-supported projects by The Ohio State University are reaching their conclusions. Researchers at Ohio State agree the work for a smarter Columbus is just getting started.
David Cooke, senior associate director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and one of the university partners with Smart Columbus, said the lessons learned from the program will have a long-term impact. “What [the smart cities grant] brought to the city of Columbus is to really put us at the forefront of mobility and smart cities research on a national scale,” Cooke said. “[CAR has been] engaged in automotive research for 30 years doing a subset of this work, very specifically on vehicle design and systems development, but mobility is much broader than just the vehicle.” Follow this link to read more.
What goals do cities give themselves when it comes to food? Looking at them says a lot about the context in which they operate. For instance, objectives regarding food security, nutrition, and access to food are more mobilized by cities in the global south. However, they are not absent from the north, even if they are framed differently. For instance, northern American cities talk about “healthy neighborhoods” and “food deserts,” which also refers to access issues. French cities tend to have goals related to public procurement more often than other cities, echoing the dynamism of national regulations on collective catering. Follow this link to read more.
As cities across the country consider ways that they can address the growing inequities throughout their communities, an important element is where a municipality’s money is located and how it is leveraged for greater social impact. As cities begin to set a path for economic recovery post-COVID-19, local leaders should consider their municipality’s relationship with its financial partners as another means toward eliminating economic inequities caused by institutional racism and financial exclusion. Follow this link to learn more.