25 March 2011

An Urban Portal

On March 10 and 11, the University of Chicago offered a free conference, "Rethinking Urban Poverty for the 21st Century: Institutional and Organizational Perspectives." Free and open to all, it was an opportunity for anyone to hear a group of top scholars discuss a variety of the challenges facing urban communities. They especially focused on not just the decisions of individuals or the characteristics of their neighborhoods, but also on the institutions and organizations which profoundly influence the lives of the urban poor. I was able to attend the first day, which included sessions on housing, criminal justice, and health issues; children and education, and immigration were the subjects of presentations the next day. I attended because as a human being, I'm interested in the development of a more equitable = sustainable society; and as a communications designer, I'm interested to know what are the stories that need to be told about urban poverty. It also introduced me to a terrific resource, The Urban Portal, "an online hub designed to provide experts and non-experts easy access to current research and resources on urban issues." This U of C website is in beta but currently includes latest research, upcoming events, and resources. Visit it at: http://urban.uchicago.edu

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