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Can a Booming City Feed Its People Sustainably?

National Geographic and United Technologies collaborate to raise awareness of sustainable urbanization through Urban Expeditions initiative


First in the Urban Expeditions series is Austin, Texas, the fastest growing metro region in the U.S. Today, on National Food Day, the series explores local efforts to expand agriculture and the influence of Austin’s high-tech sector on sustainable food solutions. 

'Can a Booming City Feed Its People Sustainably?​' written by Beth Goulart Monson with photography from Ben Rasmussen, explores the many facets of sustainable food in a city long known as a hi-tech incubator as it turns its attention to creating a model of sustainable agriculture. 

Worldwide, enough food is grown and produced to feed 10 billion people. Yet on a planet of 7 billion people, nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night.​ The combination of technology and sustainable agriculture could make a significant difference in reducing this number.

The Urban Expeditions initiative explores sustainability in global cities. From architecture to engineering and urban agriculture, the project will shine the light on key sustainability issues and introduce us to change agents from a variety of disciplines doing great work around the globe.

About Urban Expeditions

National Geographic has devoted substantial coverage to the impact of population growth. 

s economic engines, cities naturally are fueling this growth: Today more than half the world’s population lives in an urban area. By 2050 that figure is expected to rise to 66 percent. Megacities—those with more than 10 million inhabitants—are also surging. There are 29 such cities; by 2030 there will be 41.

The challenge: Cities must transform and re-engineer the urban landscape to accommodate more people while conserving finite natural resources. And yet as repositories of human ingenuity, cities offer innovative case studies. Urban Expeditions explores those smart and sustainable solutions—with a special emphasis on transportation, food, and building.

Urban Expeditions is an initiative made possible by a grant from United Technologies Corporation to the National Geographic Society.​

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