EDRAite of the Month - Jessica Cook
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Jessica Cook

February 2014

Jessica Cook

"I’ve been working with a community of urban farmers in Delhi, India for two and a half years now and I’m still amazed that this population—comprised of thousands of families supplying tens of thousands of metric tons of fresh produce to local city markets—remains largely invisible. My first exposure to urban agriculture in Delhi was funded through an NSF IGERT PhD Fellowship in Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Systems at the University of Colorado Denver where I am pursuing my PhD in Health and Behavioral Sciences. I also hold a BLA/MLA in landscape architecture from The Pennsylvania State University, which first inspired my interest in human-built environment relationships and prompted me to look to the behavioral sciences.

I am currently in Delhi as a 2013-2014 Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellow exploring how farmers’ social networks impact their livelihood adaptation strategies in response to urban development pressures—particularly relevant with my research population because an elevated metro line is in the process of being constructed through their farmland causing shifting of homes and lost of crops. Social equity and community engagement are essential components of sustainable urban planning and development but can be challenging to achieve, and I am witnessing these challenges first-hand.

I am particularly excited to attend EDRA45: Building with Change because it is the first year the theme aligns exactly with my expertise and personal research interests. The range of disciplines drawn to participate in EDRA continues to inspire me and push systems-thinking boundaries. I’ll be making a trip back to the US just to attend!

Follow me on my blog: www.urbanagdelhi.wordpress.com.

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