Master of Urban and Regional Planning


/ Urban and Regional Planning Student

Geoffrey Batterbee

“I really appreciate how Taubman offers a close-knit environment as part of a large university, so you really get the best of both worlds.”

Ada Michigan, USA

Degree Program(s)

Expected Graduation Date
December 2025

Academic Areas of Interest
Sustainability, Land Use, Urban Policy

Hobbies or interests outside of academia
Running, Hiking, Going to the Farmers Market, Making Spotify Playlists

Why did you choose Taubman College as the right program for you?
I wanted to enroll in a program that would allow me to really emphasize sustainability and environmentalism in my studies, and Taubman allowed me to do this in multiple ways. First, I was able to enroll in the dual degree program with an M.S. at the School for Environment and Sustainability. Second, Taubman has many faculty and course offerings that emphasize different facets of environmentally sound urban practices, which I found very enticing.

What is special or excites you about the Taubman community?
I really appreciate how Taubman offers a close-knit environment as part of a large university, so you really get the best of both worlds. I noticed this environment as a prospective student—people seemed to know the rest of their cohort very well, and this has definitely been my experience. At the same time, I can leave to go to other buildings on campus and be surrounded by students from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines.

Describe your experience with faculty and professional staff during your time at Taubman?
Taubman’s faculty and staff are so supportive of students’ endeavors; they really want to see us succeed. Instructors give us the capacity to incorporate our own interests into our assignments and often try to help us provide deliverables that could directly help us in our career pursuits. They also have such a broad range of academic interests that most students can find someone whose interests align with their own.

What benefits have you experienced being part of the University of Michigan?
The University of Michigan is a large school with abundant resources, and students are encouraged to take advantage of this wide variety of resources wherever they desire to do so. From literature to software and technology to knowledgeable faculty, students are able to make the most of their time at Michigan and shape their experience to their own interests. I believe that an interdisciplinary approach to education is the best way to be equipped with the tools I need to be successful, so having access to everything the University has to offer was really important to me.

What do you like most about being part of the Ann Arbor community?
Ann Arbor is a vibrant town with a lot of community pride. It is a great case study for progressive planning practice and active community involvement because we have so many community members who want to see the city thrive. I have lived in Ann Arbor for a few years now, and in my time, I have seen an impressive improvement in bicycle facilities, pedestrian-oriented streets, green infrastructure, and more. Additionally, the emphasis Ann Arbor and the greater region places on natural area protection allows me to experience both the urban setting of downtown and many beautiful parks and trails only a short walk, bike ride, or drive away.

What advice would you give prospective students as they consider Taubman College?
Consider the setting in which you are going to be learning about planning. A lot of great programs are situated in amazing “living labs” for studying planning practice, and the University of Michigan is no exception. Ann Arbor is a mid-sized city with an actively changing built environment, and the school has many connections to the City of Detroit, a much larger city with a different set of planning challenges to Ann Arbor. The program has the ability to work with big and small, urban and rural, inland and coastal communities around Michigan, which equips students well to succeed in their careers.

What are your plans after graduation?
I have some time before I graduate, but I am hoping to work at an organization focusing on applied research of urban issues and policy. Specifically, I want to help communities find solutions to environmental issues that can fit the unique needs of a community.