My graduate coursework at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning introduced me to areas of international urban development that broadened my appreciation for the complexities of a rapidly urbanizing world.
Malaysia: Sustainable Cities
Led by MIT Professor Lawrence E. Susskind, this practicum brought a cohort of students and scholars to Malaysia for a month to establish a research agenda on issues of sustainable urban development. My team and I engaged with local civil society to identify pressing issues on (a) the environmental impact of land reclamation, (b) the implications of UNESCO world heritage status in George Town, (c) transboundary water rights, and (d) urban transportation challenges.
Through engagements with political leaders, civil society groups and members of the local community, I began to understand Malaysia’s transportation challenges associated with rapid growth in auto-mobility, a lack of safe pedestrian infrastructure, and difficulties in building consensus around funding for non-auto-oriented infrastructure.