To view Chris's paper, Rooftop Hydroponic Agriculture: Commercial Potential in Chicago click here. The paper was prepared for the required specialization course UPP 570: Environmental Planning & Policy.
What is your academic and work background? What did you do before enrolling in the MUPP program at UIC?
Prior to enrolling at UIC, I attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and came to UIC following graduation.
What attracted you to planning and made you decide you
wanted to be a planner?
When I was growing up I always wanted a career that would give me the ability to shape the urban environment. I had taken many design classes in high school and I thought my dream was to become an architect. With the hopes to fulfill this dream, I applied to the architecture program at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Fortunately, I was placed in another program within the school of Fine and Applied Arts, Urban Planning. At the time I was unfamiliar with the field but decided to test it out for a semester. After taking a few planning classes I realized urban planning was what I wanted to do all along. I found that my true interest wasn’t in the individual building, but rather the complex interactions between the city, people, and the environment.
Why did you want to study planning at UIC?
Deciding to enroll at UIC was not a difficult decision for me. I grew up in the Chicagoland area and thought studying urban planning in a global city like Chicago would be the best learning experience for me. After researching the program, I knew UIC would give me the best opportunity to further my education and land a job in the future.
What are some of the highlights of your time as a student--classes, projects, internships, volunteer involvement?
The highlight of my time here at UIC has been my classes. The workload has definitely been heavier than my undergrad courses but I have enjoyed the challenge. My professors have facilitated this experience by providing encouraging feedback and pushing me to work at my full potential.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I hope to be working in the private sector as an environmental planning consultant. Ideally, I would like to remain in the Chicago area and promote sustainable best practices throughout the region.