It’s hard to believe that my six month internship with The Grid has finished. It feels just like yesterday I was trying to find an internship that combined my love of writing, my fascination with urban planning, and my pride for Madison, Wisconsin. When I finally found The Grid, I knew that I had found the perfect match for all of my criteria.
Not only did my experience at The Grid improve my ability to manage time and develop my writing skills—it also allowed me to become more intimately acquainted with the city I have called home for the last four years. I perused the streets of Madison weekly with my camera bag and notepad, ready to discover blossoming infrastructure or lack thereof. My blogs allowed me to document the renovation of the historic Edgewater Hotel, Madison’s bicycle safety initiatives, and the University of Wisconsin’s new Energy Institute.
However, I sought to focus on more than just current and past architectural and urban planning projects. Though Madison is a progressive, environmentally conscious city, there is always room for infrastructural and design improvements. I dug through many city reports and proposals to present potential design visions that the city of Madison hopes to implement in the near future. I strongly believe public discussion of these projects among community members is vital for the improvement of our city.
After watching discussions develop in response to my blogs on The Grid, and via social media, I couldn't be more pleased that I accomplished what I set out to do. Not only am I more knowledgeable about future urban planning projects in Madison, but so are a growing number of my neighbors and individuals around the globe.
However, my time at The Grid did more than just nourish my desire to keep my community informed about future developments—it also affirmed my aspiration to pursue a Masters in Urban Planning. I hope to become a mediator between communities and developers and a promoter of more walk-able, bike friendly cities across the U.S.
Before I say my final farewell, I’d like to thank all my readers, my fantastic editor, Debra Hawryzki, and owner/founder, Renée van Staveren, for providing me with the opportunity to tell the world why I am proud to hail from Madison, Wisconsin.
Credits: Image One by Krista Duffy. Images Two and Three by Kaylie Duffy. Data linked to sources.