March 13-15: Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World

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

5-5:30pm: Registration

5:30pm -7pm: Penn IUR Urban Leadership Forum: Food Systems and the 21st Century City


Thursday, March 14

8am: Registration/Breakfast

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

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

3:30pm-4:45pm: Afternoon Breakout Sessions

5:30-7pm: Feeding Cities Photography Exhibit Opening and Reception


8:45-9am Welcoming Remarks

9-10:15am Food Systems in the 21st Century: From Seed to City

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

2:45-4pm: Afternoon Breakout Sessions

4:15-5:15pm Next Steps: An Action Agenda

5:30-6:30pm Reception


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