Photo by Natalie Fiol
Established neighborhoods can offer distinct challenges for urban planners charged with proposing a renewal project: accepted pedestrian routes, vehicular traffic, constricted space, historic structures, aging systems, and comfort with current features.
"Experience is key. You need to find things that interest you and then mold them into something you enjoy and want to do."
Kate Pond visited Illinois during her sophomore year of high school and fell in love with the campus. Though she began her coursework as a political science major, she soon found a love for urban planning.
"There were small class sizes and a very personal feel in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, so I felt like I really fit in," Kate says.
With a top ranking from Planetizen (rated number one in the Midwest and eighth overall), the Department of Urban and Regional Planning provides one of the best training grounds in the country. Students receive a comprehensive education in modern analytical methods, the social and natural sciences, communication, and problem solving and can explore land use, social justice, sustainability, community and economic development, and transportation.