My name is Andrew Brown. I'm from Chicago. I go to the University of Illinois at Chicago where I am a Master’s in Urban Planning candidate.
What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?
All of them! If I had to choose though, I would say making housing, food and energy affordable and still have economic value are the most important to me. Most recently, I’ve been interested in how craft beer has changed and continues to change communities by reutilizing old industrial buildings and zonings, creating a sense of place and providing a source of employment for a community. Additionally, the ‘buy local’ push has created a need for these breweries to purchase ingredients nearby, which offers a sense of environmental sustainability to craft beer which may not be as intuitive to the average beer drinker.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
I just finished a couple of one-week courses in Toulouse, France and Lucerne, Switzerland. The coursework in Toulouse focused on how the French approach historic preservation and preservation planning, archival research of a site and field observation of a site. The week culminated with a presentation to an all French review board, which critiqued our recommendations and gave us precious feedback on how to improve our site observations to make them more valuable. The student exchange in Lucerne, Switzerland concentrated diversity, participatory planning, tourism and economic development, community planning all in light of how interdisciplinary collaboration can impact results. Both recent experiences have helped shaped my approach to urban planning in many ways and I hope I can bring these experiences to SISE!
What are your plans for the next five years?
Planning for the next five years sounds so far away! I will graduate from my program in Spring of 2019 with a Master’s in Urban Planning (knock on wood) and will be making some important decisions towards the end of this year as to where I would like to work and what field (within urban planning) I will work in. Currently, I have been looking into potentially joining a Federal department or joining a non-profit. The sky is the limit and as long as I feel like my work is helping the community or region where I’m living, I’ll be happy.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
I noticed a couple of fellow students in my program had gone through SISE before and had had great experiences. I figured this was an opportunity of a lifetime and just down the street!
What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?
Honestly, I’m looking forward to showing all the out of towners my favorite place in the whole wide world. Skip the deep dish and let's grab some Vietnamese, Mexican, CSHDs and Italian Beef instead!
Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
I’m not a huge cat fan. Mostly due to allergies. Wah, wah. But I do enjoy the feral cats that hang out on my block and keep all the rodents away. Thank you cats!