Graduate Colloquium: "Rural-Urban Infrastructure for Waste-to-Energy and Food Production"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 3:00pm
Meyerson Hall, Room G-12, at Penn's Institute for Urban Research

Author: Catherine Brinkley, a VMD-Ph.D. student in City and Regional Planning, will present her dissertation proposal entitled "Rural-Urban Infrastructure for Waste-to-Energy and Food Production." 

Discussant: William Braham, Professor of Architecture and Director of Penn Design's Master's Program in Environmental Design, will serve as Catherine's discussant.

Location: Meyerson Hall, Room G-12, at Penn's Institute for Urban Research. Snacks will be served.

Abstract: Uniting research from farmland preservation, growth management, food systems, economics, and environmental studies, this work provides an overview, analysis of context, and valuation of the services that farms provide for urban areas. The research is divided into three discrete phases with the goal of creating a publishable journal article at the completion of each phase.  In the first phase, a literature review yielded preliminary results for the amenity valuation of nearby farmland, showing that it creates value for local communities with jobs, food production, viewshed, recreation, energy production, waste management, and growth management.  The second phase of the study employs an embedded multi-case study to further extrapolate and explore the context of each farm service in two US counties and two Swedish counties.  Farmer and program-director interviews will be used to assess program efficacy, context, and product.  Data will be triangulated with web-based and printed material from each program and county.  The third phase of the research builds upon these findings by relating county-level program data in GIS, to draw growth management and policy-based design conclusions for supporting farm-based urban infrastructure.