Degree: Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Graduation Date: June 2023
Hometown: Hong Kong
Tell us a bit about your background and path to the MURP program. Why did you choose the School of Social Ecology and the MURP program specifically?
I am originally from Hong Kong, but I immigrated to the US when I was 15, stayed in New Jersey for 3 years, then moved to Sacramento, and have lived there since.
I did my undergrad at UCSB in Geography and GIS, where I took a lot of GIS classes. During the summers of 2019 and 2020, I had a GIS internship at the City of Folsom's planning department. I was working closely with a few planners to make maps and do analysis. I participated in projects such as the TOD plan, housing element update, and zoning code update.
For now, my focus is more on affordable housing and community development because of my internship experience in a city's planning department, where I had a chance to work with the housing element, but I also have some interests in transportation planning. Right now, my research focuses on evaluating EV, charging demand, and its correlation with socioeconomic factors. We just finished a short paper. The conference will be in November, but the research is still in progress. Other than that, I don't have any other publications yet, but I did participate in some projects.
I was very interested in doing these projects, and that's what brings me to the MURP program here. I chose the MURP program at UCI because of the reputation of our school and I like the UC system, and our program admits a relatively low number of students. There're plenty of resources and research opportunities available for us. Also, I like the flexibility of our program where I don't need to choose a specific concentration.
How do you envision your degree from UCI opening doors for you and benefitting your career?
With my MURP degree, I'm expecting myself to be equipped with in-depth planning skills and knowledge. The education I get here will also help me to enter the professional planning field and help me to get an AICP certification later on. In terms of career, I'm interested in using GIS to solve housing and transportation problems, so I want to be working in the interaction of these fields. I'm planning to join the public sector, which could be city or county planning departments. I would like to add more affordable housing in relation to public transportation access, making the city more resilient, safe, and smart.
What impact do you hope to have on the future of Urban Planning?
In terms of impact for future of urban planning, I hope I can make contributions to making future cities more resilient and sustainable by working in the interaction of housing and transportation so housing and public transportation can be tightened up, making housing more affordable and solve transportation problems like emission and congestion.