The Tishman Environment and Design Center presents “Urban Food and Urban Ecosystems Research and Scholarship,” a three-part discussion by the Environmental Studies postdoctoral fellows at The New School for Public Engagement.
Social-Ecological Urban Systems: A Spatial Perspective
Peleg Kremer, Urban Ecosystems Postdoctoral Fellow, The New School for Public Engagement
Social-ecological systems theory provides a useful framework for exploring urban sustainability and resilience. Using New York City vacant lots as an example, Peleg Kremer discusses the use of spatial analysis, an application of social-ecological systems theory, as a planning and decision-making tool in urban spaces.
Participatory Research as Food Systems Pedagogy and Scholar Activism: Collaborations with Two NYC Urban Farms
Kristin Reynolds, Sustainable Urban Food Systems Postdoctoral Fellow, The New School for Public Engagement
Urban agriculture has become increasingly popular, and practitioners continually find new ways to work toward social, ecological, and economic goals. At the same time, many urban universities are integrating research and teaching on food systems with forms of public engagement. These university-community collaborations can provide learning opportunities for university students, benefit farmers and gardeners, and advance the food systems movement by linking theory and practice. Kristin Reynolds discusses participatory research collaborations involving New York City urban farms and students in environmental studies courses at The New School.
Restoring Urban Ecosystems Services: The Million Trees NYC Reforestation
Sanpisa Sritrairat, Urban Ecosystems Postdoctoral Fellow, The New School for Public Engagement
The U.S. Forest Service estimates that New York City trees provide more than $5 billion in value through carbon sequestration, cooling, pollution control, and storm buffering. Million Trees NYC is an effort to further forest restoration around the city as a way to offset the ecological damage caused by population growth and urbanization. In collaboration with PlaNYC and New York City Parks and Recreation, New School students helped establish research plots around New York City to monitor the effects of restoration strategies on plant diversity, invasive species expansion, carbon accumulation, plant-soil interaction, and toxic metal accumulation. Sanpisa Sritrairat discusses the application of environmental sciences to explore plant-soil-human interactions and manage forest restoration in urban environments.