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grandrollerz

Daughter Interested in Urban Planning as Degree, Now What?

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I've been on this forum since 2006 and have really enjoyed my time here.  I grew up in Grand Rapids and moved to the suburbs somewhat begrudgingly (Allendale).  It's amazing how many kids from the burbs (my daughter's friends) have never been to GR, whose parent's won't let them go, and who wouldn't know what do if they did go, e.g. parking, navigating,etc. Anyway, I work in GR and I love GR,  and have made a point of spending a lot of family leisure time in GR.  I've typically imbued those trips with my childhood reminiscing, my knowledge of the city, and news of the developments and goings-on I've learned from this forum.  When we Chicago, we AirBnb in the neighborhoods, get 3 day CTA passes, etc. etc.  We talk about Allendale & Ottawa Co parks (we're big runners/hikers), wife worked at Ottawa Co, we talk local planning and local govt politics (yuk),and all that stuff.

 

All that must have struck a chord with her because a little while back she came home excited from an Urban Planning lecture at GVSU that was part of one her HS courses. Then she got excited when I was discussing with her the plans to finally fix the walk-ability of 48th Ave at GVSU: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2014/12/news-48th-ave .  Then I found GVSU UP pamphlets in her room. :-) And now when talking about going to Chicago for Spring Break, she tells my wife she wants to visit Univ of Illinois-Chicago while there.  After some googling and looking around UP forums (this thread in particular), UIC seems like a reputable UP school. So....

 

 

It looks like she is doing all the right things, my question to GR UP'rs is: how can I help? Is she on the right track?  This is my first kid to go to college (she's a HS junior) and I don't know a lot about college stuff yet (evaluating, visiting, applying, selecting, etc.).

 

Any insights appreciated. Thanks!

 

 

 

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I've been on this forum since 2006 and have really enjoyed my time here.  I grew up in Grand Rapids and moved to the suburbs somewhat begrudgingly (Allendale).  It's amazing how many kids from the burbs (my daughter's friends) have never been to GR, whose parent's won't let them go, and who wouldn't know what do if they did go, e.g. parking, navigating,etc. Anyway, I work in GR and I love GR,  and have made a point of spending a lot of family leisure time in GR.  I've typically imbued those trips with my childhood reminiscing, my knowledge of the city, and news of the developments and goings-on I've learned from this forum.  When we Chicago, we AirBnb in the neighborhoods, get 3 day CTA passes, etc. etc.  We talk about Allendale & Ottawa Co parks (we're big runners/hikers), wife worked at Ottawa Co, we talk local planning and local govt politics (yuk),and all that stuff.

 

All that must have struck a chord with her because a little while back she came home excited from an Urban Planning lecture at GVSU that was part of one her HS courses. Then she got excited when I was discussing with her the plans to finally fix the walk-ability of 48th Ave at GVSU: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2014/12/news-48th-ave .  Then I found GVSU UP pamphlets in her room. :-) And now when talking about going to Chicago for Spring Break, she tells my wife she wants to visit Univ of Illinois-Chicago while there.  After some googling and looking around UP forums (this thread in particular), UIC seems like a reputable UP school. So....

 

 

It looks like she is doing all the right things, my question to GR UP'rs is: how can I help? Is she on the right track?  This is my first kid to go to college (she's a HS junior) and I don't know a lot about college stuff yet (evaluating, visiting, applying, selecting, etc.).

 

Any insights appreciated. Thanks!

 

 

That's cool. And that field definitely needs more women, as it is heavily male-dominated. If you're interested in having her shadow a woman planner who works in Grand Rapids, I can possibly introduce you. Shoot me a PM.

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Urban planning provides a way to help make the world a better place and create a positive impact. I get a thrill when traveling near one of my former projects.

 

When I was getting a degree in urban planning, I fast-tracked it. MSU has an undergrad program, and it's accredited. Whaddya know, they've expanded it to include construction management, and interior design.

 

Additional in-state programs (with more affordable tuition, sure to be appreciated by the parental unit)

Michigan  (endowed by the creator of the suburban shopping mall)

Eastern (highly regarded)

Wayne State (great lab environment)

 

Chicago is an interesting place to visit. It's likely she'd end up working in an edge city like Schaumburg, where they designed a mall parking structure to resemble the buildings in a small town; think Meijer @ Cascade. Check it out next time you go (sorry, can't find a photo).

 

More links:

Michigan chapter of the APA

Planning & Zoning News

Favorite City's planning department

Cyburbia (many excellent discussions regarding the value of a master's degree vs a bachelors, AICP, APA, career guidance...she might see a familiar avatar)

 

Along with the typical gig at a city's zoning counter, planners can work in housing, downtown development, GIS, and telecommunications.
 

If you'd like to discourage her, a little light reading

 

HTH

 

p.s. check your in-box

Edited by Veloise

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That's cool. And that field definitely needs more women, as it is heavily male-dominated. If you're interested in having her shadow a woman planner who works in Grand Rapids, I can possibly introduce you. Shoot me a PM.

Not THAT'S a hookup.

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