Morales receives Vilas Mid-Career Award

May 1, 2015

Alfonso Morales, an associate professor of urban and regional planning and a faculty affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, has received a UW-Madison Vilas Mid-Career Award. The award provides $50,000 of flexible research funds.

Morales studies food systems, public marketplaces and street vendors, and the role and function that they serve in economic development. Using an innovative blend of the disciplines of sociology and urban planning, Morales has created a body of books, articles, book chapters, and other writing that provides practical insight into the ways that urban agriculture, food distribution, street-level economies and social interactions contribute to and influence community and economic development. He is among a small number of researchers who employ ethnographic field research methods to help inform contemporary theoretical debates about community food systems, public markets, space use, and street vending businesses.

Morales was also recently invited to comment on the question “What is it about American culture that encourages risk-taking?” for What It Means to Be American, a national conversation hosted by the Smithsonian and Zocalo Public Square. View his response, and other comments, here. Time magazine also covered the project.