Derek Shendell and colleagues are among the seven University-wide recipients of a Global Urbanism interdisciplinary, planning and programming grant (7/2015-6/2017). Dr. Shendell (School of Public Health-ENOH and member of EOHSI-ESD and Rutgers Climate Institute – RCI) is the principal investigator; collaborators formally listed include SPH-ENOH doctoral students Mehra B. Blott and Mawuena Quarcoo as well as Mark Robson (SEBS, and EOHSI and RCI), Patricia Findley (Social Work and RCI) and Maryann Soresen-Allacci (EJB-Center for Green Buildings). Other likely collaborators include Marjorie Kaplan (RCI) and Janice McDonnell (NJ 4H Program/Rutgers SEBS and RCI). There are also student internships and fieldwork opportunities; one intern (7-8/2015) is already confirmed.
Our interdisciplinary working group focus in global urbanism intersects four key issues in modern society:
· Rapidly increasing urbanization in less developed countries (LDCs)
· Evidence of negative effects from acute and chronic exposures to environmental pollution, resulting in risks to safety & health (S&H)
· Child labor — legal or illegal — in agricultural and non-agricultural work, increasing S&H risks
· Reintroduction of child soldiers from rural areas of LDCs into new communities/schools located in suburban/urban settings
This project directly explores cross-cutting themes including global-local interconnections, urban form, public space, and suburban landscapes.
Dictionaries consistently define urbanism as the interaction of inhabitants of towns and cities — or urban communities — with the built environment and the study of their physical needs, i.e., urban planning. Our goal/objective is to assess, better describe, and expand the capacity to address the S&H risks to younger residents of urban areas — adolescents and young adults up to age 34 — who live, shop, work, learn, play (physical activity), and/or are entertained for different reasons, whether by personal choice or due to external forces (social stressors).