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|Student Spotlight: Michael Snidal|
"Planning school exposes you to people who are equally passionate about urban issues, but offer their own unique backgrounds and visions to approaching them."
Michael Snidal is a doctoral student in urban planning at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University. His research focuses on segregation, demographic shifts, and place-based investment in weak market cities and inner-city neighborhoods. His dissertation will examine HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program in Woodlawn, Chicago and Treme, New Orleans. Before returning to New York City to pursue his doctorate, Michael served as the director of neighborhood development for Baltimore City’s economic development agency, worked as a community organizing director, and served on President Obama’s field campaign in Northern Virginia.
Michael also owns and manages his own real estate practice in Baltimore and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the community development nonprofit, Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Inc. His work has been featured in popular news sources such as the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post, and among other awards, he received a Fulbright-Hays -Group fellowship to study advanced Vietnamese in Saigon and the Charles Abrams thesis award for a master’s thesis committed to social justice. He received his BA from the University of Michigan and MS from Columbia University.
Here’s more from our conversation with Michael:
Q; Which ACSP member school do you attend?
Q: What specialty are you studying?
Q: Why did you select your particular specialty
Q: Do you have a current job or internship in your specialty?
Q: Is there a particular class or professor that has made a great impact on you? How so?
Q: What's your favorite project you’ve worked on, in class or in practice?
The legislation took two years to pass and was a shell of my original proposal. But the tax credit moved the needle on bringing more groceries to forgotten neighborhoods and set a precedent for how government can and should play a role in securing healthy food as a basic right for all its residents.
Q: What future goals do you have in your field?
Big dreams? At some point, I’d like to take a break from research and run a major agency in a major city.
Q: How has planning school changed your daily habits?
Planning school exposes you to people who are equally passionate about urban issues, but offer their own unique backgrounds and visions to approaching them. I think this diversity of people and ideas makes for an open-mind when it comes to the daily routine.
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Q: How many different cities have you lived in and which was your favorite?
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Q: What is the title of the last book you read? What did you learn from it?
Q: What’s your favorite color and how would you creatively incorporate it into a planning project?
Red should be used to draw lines where discrimination needs to be addressed. Planning projects would be inundated in red.