Humphrey Students Working on Neighborhoods’ Planning Needs
December 21, 2015—Students enrolled in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program know that their formal academic training is only one component of their professional development. MURP students also participate in a variety of community activities and find that their experiences serving on the neighborhood planning boards and working with local planning commissions are both rewarding and educational.
Following are several examples of MURP students at work in the Twin Cities.
Richfield Planning Commission
Starting his first three-year term on the Richfield Planning Commission at the beginning of this year, Sean Hayford Oleary has participated in successfully recommending the approval of an accessory dwelling unit ordinance and a taproom ordinance in addition to reviewing a range of other applications. Notably, the commission is currently overseeing some major redevelopment around 66th Street and Cedar Avenue.
Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association (LHENA)
As the chair of the Open Spaces Committee of the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association board, Jono Cowgill is currently working on a collaborative initiative with Jefferson Elementary, the Minneapolis Paint the Pavement Program, and Muralist Greta Mclain to have a mural painted on an intersection in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood. This project is aligned with LHENA’s goal to improve the physical aesthetics of public spaces.
Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA)
After receiving a solicitous email from GAPSA, Hilary Lovelace decided to get involved with her neighborhood board, SECIA, in November of last year. Working with the Housing and Livability Subcommittee and the Housing Strategies Work Group as the graduate student representative, Lovelace has lent her voice to neighborhood issues ranging from safety to beautification.
Learning how to anticipate community needs while also gaining firsthand experience with sometimes challenging social dynamics are critical skills that are invaluable to our prospective planners. The unique perspectives gleaned from practical participation helps to shape our exceptional students and prepare them for their future careers.