By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in cities. This urbanization process goes together closely with growing urban poverty and food insecurity. Currently, approximately one-third of the world’s population is living in slums and informal settlements. If prevailing trends continue, this figure could reach 2 billion by 2030.
As the world population urbanizes, how will all of these city dwellers eat?
Penn’s Institute for Urban Research (PennIUR) is convening some of the brightest minds from around the world to discuss the critical connection between urbanization and global food security at a conference next week, Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World. The conference is organized in collaboration with Penn’s Design, Medicine, Wharton, Arts & Sciences, Law, Education, Nursing, Social Policy, and Vetrinary Medicine for a cross- disciplinary approach in search of answers to the connundrum of feeding huge urban populaitions.
Local luminaries who are participating include the Food Trust’s Yael Lehmann (Wednesday 5:30pm), Penn Earth Environmental Science Professor Emeritus Robert Giegengack (Thursday, 9:30am), and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Drew Becher (Friday, noon). Check out the full schedule below.
The Feeding Cities conference will take place Wednesday, March 13 – Friday, March 15 at Houston Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus (3417 Spruce Street). Registration costs $25 ($5 for Penn Faculty/Staff/Student or Students with valid ID). Register online in advance.
Wednesday, March 13
5:30pm -7pm: Penn IUR Urban Leadership Forum: Food Systems and the 21st Century City
- Joan Clos – Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
- Yael Lehmann – Executive Director, The Food Trust
- Ridwan Kamil – Founder and Principal, Urbane Indonesia
Thursday, March 14
8:45-9am Welcoming Remarks
9-9:30am: Opening Keynote Address – Food Security for an Urban Future: A Global Perspective Heather Grady – Vice President, Foundation Initiatives, The Rockefeller Foundation
9:30-10:45am Sustainable Resource Allocation: Urbanization, Agriculture and the Environment
- MODERATOR: Robert Giegengack – Professor Emeritus of Earth & Environmental Science – University of Pennsylvania
- Gordon McGranahan – Principal Researcher, Human Settlements Group, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
- Molly Jahn – Professor of Agronomy and Genetics, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, University of Madison-Wisconsin
- Carl Hausmann – Global Policy Advisor, Bunge Limited
11am-12:15 pm: Morning Breakout Sessions
12:30pm-1:30pm: Lunch Keynote Address – The Nutrition Transition: Barry M. Popkin – W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Nutrition – UNC-CH
1:45 pm – 3:00 pm Urbanization, Diets, and Demand
- Barbara Burlingame – Principal Officer, Nutrition Division – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- Emmy Simmons – Co-Chair – AGree
- Raghav Gaiha – Professor, Faculty of Management Studies – University of Delhi
3:30pm-4:45pm: Afternoon Breakout Sessions
FRIDAY, MARCH 15
8:45-9am Welcoming Remarks
9-10:15am Food Systems in the 21st Century: From Seed to City
- Hon. Udaya Prabath Gammanpila – Minister of Agriculture, Minor Irrigation, Industries & Environment (Western Province) Sri Lanka
- Raj Khosla – Professor of Precision Agriculture, Colorado State University
- Julien Custot – Facilitator, Food for the Cities Multidisciplinary Initiative, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
10:30-11:45am: Morning Breakout Sessions
Noon-1pm: Lunch Keynote Address – Local Success Stories in Urban Food Security Drew Becher – President, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
1:15-2:30pm: The Geopolitics of Urban Food Security
- Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla – Senior Research Fellow – International Food Policy Research Institute
- Jim Harkness – President – Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
- Caitlin Welsh – Foreign Affairs Officer – Office of Global Food Security (S/GFS), U.S. Department of State
2:45-4pm: Afternoon Breakout Sessions
4:15-5:15pm Next Steps: An Action Agenda