October 27, 2015
Harvey M. Jacobs, a professor of urban and regional planning and environmental studies at UW–Madison, spent his summer teaching a specialty course in land policy.
Recently chosen for a Fulbright Specialist U.S. Scholar Program grant, Jacobs taught the course at the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru (Bangalore) as part of the school’s new two-year graduate program in public policy.
Also while there, Jacobs worked with his host to finalize the first South Asian Regional Conference of the International Association on Planning, Law, and Property Rights, held Sept. 1-3. The conference, which drew participants from throughout India as well as Croatia, Germany, Sri Lanka and the United States, focused on land use policies in South Asia.
“Students and conference participants were convinced that land and property rights issues are at the absolute center of what India needs to engage in order to move its cities and its economy forward,” Jacobs says. “It was very gratifying to teach in a situation where there was such focus on how the material in the classroom could be applied to solving real-world problems.”
Jacobs, also chair of the environment and resources graduate program in UW–Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals to travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2015-16.
A widely recognized expert on property rights, land use and social conflict, Jacobs studies how these issues intersect and escalate. He has worked and lectured on these topics in locations ranging from Albania to Italy to Zimbabwe.
More than half of the global population now lives in cities — a figure expected to grow to at least 75 percent by the end of this century. Jacobs says migration, the growth of urbanization in the developing world (especially in megacities, with populations exceeding 10 million) and the condition of the poor in informal settlements in these cities pose enormous and interconnected social and environmental challenges demanding the attention of scholars and decision makers.
The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
It operates in over 160 countries worldwide and has given more than 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.