The urban share of the United States and global population has been climbing steadily since well before the inception of Extension. As of the 2010 census, more than four out of five U.S. residents lived in urban areas, with 71% of the total U.S. population living in cities with more than 50,000 residents, and 10% living in smaller urban clusters. Cornell University established Cooperative Extension offices in New York City (CUCE-NYC) well after the Extension system was developed in rural and suburban counties throughout New York State. NYC is the largest city and part of the largest metropolitan area in the U.S., creating significant challenges of scale for Extension programming. The ratio of NYC residents to CUCE-NYC staff is roughly 125,000:1. CUCE-NYC works to mobilize limited resources to create large and positive impacts on individuals, families, communities, and institutions. Strategies to achieve these goals include partnership development, community recruitment, leadership development, and ecological efforts to foster setting-level change. Key CUCE-NYC strategies are grounded in sustained, intensive connections to communities, organizations, and other human ecological contexts. Geospatial mapping of program activities enables assessment and improvement of program reach and impact.
Tiffany, J. S.
(2017). Extension in the City: Meeting the Challenges of Scale.
Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 5(2), 5.
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