Penn IUR has recently published two reports about rapid urbanization. Both reports—Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World, and Place Matters—grew out of Penn IUR conferences supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World stems from the “Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World” conference held at the University of Pennsylvania March 13–15, 2013, convened by Penn IUR with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Penn’s Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, and Penn School of Veterinary Medicine among others. Part I of the report is a concept paper by Eugénie L. Birch outlining the relationship between urbanization and food security throughout the world, Part II constitutes the conference proceedings assembled by Alexander Keating, and Part III reports on the photography exhibit that accompanied the international conference.
Birch’s paper highlights urban food security as a distinct area of research and public policy. The report looks at how undernutrition (hunger) and over nutrition exist in cities, and explores how other global themes—such as economic growth, climate change, and poverty—all effect food security. The report outlines an integrated model called a PPD model (production, distribution, delivery) as the way to frame urban-focused food security research and policy.
In addition to the Feeding Cities conference, Penn IUR organized a research summit on March 27-28 as part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s ongoing Transforming Cities Initiative. Attended by fifty urban-focused researchers from four continents, the aim of the summit was to explore and identity key research agendas that address spatial aspects of urbanization in the twenty-first century.
Sustainable Urbanization: Place Matters is a report that summarizes the summit roundtables and panel discussions and presents seven cross-cutting research agendas that emerged from the conversations: urban form, inequality, collective intelligence and data, knowledge transfer, climate change and resilience, informality and institutional capacity.