Master of Urban Planning students focus on future of planning at conference

Twenty-three University of Michigan students, most of whom were Master of Urban Planning students, attended the fourth-annual Student Michigan Association of Planning Conference on February 5, 2010 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The event offered sessions run by planning professionals on topics such as economic development, technology and the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Neighborhood Development Rating System, as well as career counseling sessions with practicing planners. Additionally, it featured networking opportunities with attendees from eight other Michigan schools and the University of Western Ontario. Select participants also presented research projects. Robert Linn, a first-year planning student, discussed how to encourage the reuse of abandoned commercial structures in Detroit.

Chair of the event and first-year Taubman College planning student Angela Fortino said,

“It really is a rare opportunity for students to not only organize a statewide event, but attend an affordable conference geared directly at them. It is also a great way to learn what others are doing across the state, supporting the idea that we share a common goal of social equity and sustainability.”

Preparation is already underway for next year’s conference, which Taubman College will host. Current, incoming and undergraduate students who want to help plan the event should contact Angela at

To read a news report about the conference written by the Western Michigan University newspaper, please visit here.

Photos courtesy Elizabeth Van Doorne.