The College of Architecture is excited to announce that UN HABITAT has selected one of our collaborators, Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities (JISC), to host the Urban Thinkers Campus in November 2015 as part of the World Urban Campaign initiative "The City We Need." The JISC proposal was one of 30 selected worldwide, and one of only two selected from the United States. This will be a two-day event forum with a number of focus groups exploring various aspects of the overall prospectus. Through web-based conferencing with our partners in Alaska, Colombia, Guangzhou and elsewhere, organizers will connect their proceedings to urban thinkers, researchers and other participants in synthesizing recommendations and insights for the overall UN Habitat agenda, to be held in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 17-20, 2016.
The concept behind "The City We Need: The Role and Opportunities in Urban Sustainability for Small and Mid-Size Cities" centers on the understanding that more than 70 percent of the world's population lives outside urban areas of more than 500,000 residents. While ample attention has been paid to the expected enormous growth of the world's mega cities and global urbanization, comparatively scant attention has been focused on the enormously relevant small - to medium-sized urban centers during this period of transformative urbanization, as well as on the rural areas that are significant sources for this growth.
These non-urban areas are wellsprings from which we derive myriad resources. From Alaska's vulnerable commercial and subsistence fishing, to loss of farmland in Nebraska, underutilized farmland in Colombia, and loss of both farming and fishing habitats to pollution in China's Pearl River delta, it has become abundantly apparent that urbanization is inextricably linked to the health of rural communities and their natural resources.
JISC has enlisted the help of many partners in this endeavor: University of Nebraska-Lincoln's (UNL) College of Architecture, UNL's College of Journalism, Design Intelligence, CitiScope, Prairie Fire Newspaper and others.