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"Ultimately, I believe that most of us want the same things in life: a comfortable home in a safe community with quick access to interesting and fun places. As a planner-in-training, I will work towards that goal!"
Hello! My name is Mark Newman, and I'm excited to show you around. I am about to begin my second year as a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) student at the University of California, Irvine. Planning is very much a part of who I am: I am passionate about studying beautiful and communal spaces. I believe that downtown parks and plazas are beacons of hope in cities across the nation. Public squares that offer space for all types of people are what I love to see! Whether it be a senior group fitness class, an elementary school play date, or people relaxing over a book or a coffee, I will work hard to promote these types of spatial interactions. We all have our favorite urban getaway spot, but I would like to see more of these little spaces appear in our American suburbs either long-term or as pop-up parks. Not only am I a champion of small urban spaces for health and enjoyment, but I believe in both active and public transportation to get there! That means pleasant routes for strolling pedestrians, buffered and safe lanes for bicyclists, and a bus stop or two for straphangers.
I am also highly interested in the role that such transportation has to play in redeveloping failing streets and dead shopping malls into lively urban spaces. Through the creation of transit-oriented development corridors, planners can breathe new life into derelict spaces. Cities that build new streetcar and light-rail stops provide economic stimulus adjacent to their transport facilities. A new stop means people will now concentrate there at certain times to create a hub of activity. On their way to catch their transit mode, they may be looking for a cup of coffee, or place to relax and unwind after coming home. Ultimately, enough investment via new businesses will create demand for homeownership in this area. Commuters will want a location quick to their train or bus, and other folks will be drawn by the vibrant scene. The creation of buffered bikelanes that link other streets and neighborhoods to the transit stop work in hub to draw in more people. It is easy to see the simple benefits that public transportation can bring to an economically-distressed area.
Ultimately, I believe that most of us want the same things in life: a comfortable home in a safe community with quick access to interesting and fun places. As a planner-in-training, I will work towards that goal!