Name: Fabiana Meacham
Program: MUP 2013
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Undergraduate school/major: Brown University/Architectural Studies
What was your work experience/background before coming to the GSD?
I worked in an architecture firm in New York, and a public policy/planning non-profit in San Francisco.
Why did you decide to pursue planning as a career?
I wanted to be able to apply a broad range of skills while working toward improving quality of life in urban areas.
What made you decide to come to the GSD?
Its strong emphasis on design and international planning issues, access to other Harvard graduate schools and resources.
What are your main interests in planning and concentration area?
I plan to concentrate in Urban Design as well as Housing and Neighborhood Development. I chose these areas to obtain a balance of the design and public policy aspects of the field.
Are you writing a thesis? What is your topic and why did you choose it?
My tentative thesis topic is an analysis of the urban waterfront redevelopment of industrial waterways in major cities, such as the L.A. River or New York’s Gowanus Canal.
What has been the most surprising aspect of the GSD?
Despite working in such close quarters with the other degree programs, the extent of interaction with those students and faculty will be rather limited unless you make an effort to get to know them.
What has been your favorite class or project? Why?
The final project of the first semester core studio (Fenway) provided a great opportunity to synthesize all of the introductory concepts and technical skills acquired over the course of the semester.
What did you do over the summer? How did that add to your education and goals?
I interned in the Waterfront & Open Space Division of the New York City Department of City Planning, assisting with research on sea level rise adaptation strategies for the city’s waterfront areas. Working at NYCDCP allowed me to observe how urban planning works at the city government level, as well as collaborate with other government agencies and organizations.