Student Spotlight: Chloe McGuire
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Chloe McGuire

Chloe McGuire Brigl is a Masters of Urban Planning student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs - University of Minnesota. She will be graduating magna cum laude in May 2017 with a concentration in Land Use and Environmental Planning.

Passionate about planning, community engagement, and equity work, Chloe has spent the last four years working in the field. Her portfolio includes working as a GIS Intern for the US Census Bureau, a community engagement intern for a local non-profit and a Planning Intern for Golden Valley (a suburb of Minneapolis). She currently works full-time as a Planner/Designer for Northwest Associated Consultants, a planning consulting firm in the Twin Cities. Chloe has focused her studies on the intersection of land use and environmental planning, while becoming an expert in community engagement, GIS, and sustainable design. Some of Chloe’s notable accomplishments include creating a stormwater management master plan for the West Bank of the University of Minnesota’s campus, an equitable development framework for a neighborhood in Saint Paul, MN as well as leading a community development initiative around sustainability in Minneapolis. Long-term goals for Chloe include returning to the public sector, starting her own consulting firm and eventually running for office.

Chloe holds a B.S. in Environmental Planning and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Iowa where she wrote her thesis, “Community Solar Gardens in Iowa City, Iowa,” which researched the solar potential for the City, as well as the different mechanisms to implement community solar gardens across the area. She is excited to see community solar become an affordable option for households in the Midwest and looks forward to supporting renewable energy advancements throughout her career.

Here's more from our conversation with Chloe:

Q: What specialty are you studying?
A: Land Use and Environmental Planning

Q: Why did you select your particular specialty?
A: I decided to study planning after there was a terrible flood in my hometown that destroyed a lot of people's homes, especially those that were lower-income. I saw the interaction between land use and the environment and wanted to be able to make sure things like that didn't happen in the future.

Q: Do you have a current job or internship in your specialty?
A: Yes, I recently started as a full-time Planner/Designer at a consulting firm in the Twin Cities.

Q: Is there a particular class or professor that has made a great impact on you? How so?
A: I took a course called Neighborhood Revitalization with Neeraj Mehta, where we created equitable development projects for clients. Neeraj pushed us to think outside the box of what is typically done and keep equity at the forefront of our plan. It was a great class and he reminded us every day how important it is to push the envelope.

Q: What's your favorite project you’ve worked on, in class or in practice?
A: One of my favorite projects that I recently worked on was creating a stormwater management master plan for the West Bank of the University of Minnesota's campus. Our team was comprised of two architects, a sustainable design student, and myself, which helped us approach the project from all angles. Our project was submitted to an EPA Challenge.

Q: What future goals do you have in your field?
A: Long-term I'd love to work in the public sector for a mid-sized city as their economic development and planning coordinator. And after that, I want to run for a local office.

Q: How has planning school changed your daily habits?
A: I wake up earlier than I ever have before, keep my LinkedIn up-to-date, and go out of my way to collaborate with others. Planning school is all about teamwork and being in a supportive atmosphere -- so collaboration is key!

Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: A fashion designer and painter.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A: Glacier National Park in the summer. It's beautiful, there's amazing hiking, and I want to see the glaciers before they're gone!

Q: What is the title of the last book you read? What did you learn from it?
A: “The Dinner” by Herman Koch. The entire book takes place over the length of one dinner party, and it confirmed that everyone has something to hide. I'd highly suggest it!


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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