Conference Proposal: Food and Innovation Sustainable Urban Cities Rural-Urban Linkages

Grant Details


This award supports a collaborative workshop for researchers, students, non-governmental organizations, federal agencies, and industry experts to explore sustainable urban systems connections between urban and rural places. In addition to Central Michigan University (CMU) and the University of Arizona, steering committee member organizations include Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development. The workshop will be held July 29-30, 2019, at the CMU campus near Detroit, Michigan. Specifically, the workshop focuses on how food, community, and related innovation reveal and create opportunities to better understand the links between urban and rural communities. The workshop will feature small and large group discussions, student and expert presentations, and dialogue between researchers, students, and practitioners in both formal and informal settings. The primary output of the conference will be a set of researchable questions that reflect the needs of industry and build upon previously-funded research efforts supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. These researchable questions will serve as the foundation for new collaborative research and practice partnerships composed of industry, government, and/or academic institutions.

The prosperity and sustainability of cities are inextricably linked to rural regions. This workshop will use food and community to develop new basic and applied science methods, questions, and projects to improve understanding and efficiency of rural-urban connections that enhance the social, economic, and ecological sustainability of urban systems. Professionally facilitated discussions will help drive science-practice dialogue, across industry, government, and academic participants that will shape a set of use-inspired research questions. These are questions to which industry and government need answers to drive more efficient policy, investment, and sustainability outcomes. The use-inspired questions emerging from the trans-disciplinary facilitated discussions will serve as the basis for an array of new collaborative research efforts to be undertaken by combinations of academic, industry, and policy teams. The insights generated will form the foundation for the proposal of a new sustainability research network addressing enhanced sustainable urban systems through urban-rural linkages. Additionally, the workshop will support and mentor students in an array of disciplines; facilitate opportunities to develop related interdisciplinary research projects; create space to discuss new theory and methods of analysis; and develop new understanding of urban-rural linkages and their role in the sustainability of urban systems.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date07/1/1906/30/20


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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