Princeton researchers receive $2.5 million to advance the science of urban food sustainability

Written by
Morgan Kelly
Dec. 10, 2019

Princeton University researchers have received a $2.5 million federal grant to lead an interdisciplinary effort with academic, city government and nonprofit partners that will develop a scientific process for establishing urban food systems that are less wasteful and environmentally detrimental. The grant will be administered by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and ties into PEI’s increasing leadership in the study of urban systems, resiliency and sustainable food production for the 21st century.

Researchers on the project will design and implement methods, tools and databases to advance urban food-systems research in multiple disciplines, including environmental and civil engineering, public policy, earth science and applied economics. The researchers also hope to develop effective methods for influencing people’s behavior related to their diet and food choices.

“So little is known about the role of urban food systems in the context of local and global sustainability,” said lead investigator Anu Ramaswami, the Sanjay Swani ’87 Professor of India Studies, and professor of civil and environmental engineering, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) and the Princeton Environmental Institute.

Ramaswami is teaming up on the project with co-principal investigator Z. Jason Ren, Princeton professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and PEI associated faculty, along with colleagues at the University of Minnesota and Syracuse University.

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