I joined SWT Design last year to pivot my planning career towards a design and implementation focused practice. Since then, my knowledge and perspective on what it means to be a planner and designer have grown tremendously. My experience to date has given me an unparalleled education in planning and demonstrated what it truly means to be resilient. In my three years in St. Louis, I worked across sectors and disciplines and feel prepared to start a new chapter. With so much gratitude to this City and its people, I am excited to announce I am relocating to Miami, Florida, and will be working remotely for SWT Design as a Lead Planner! What brings me so much joy in what comes next is the opportunity to continue working with SWT and play a role in helping grow our reach. SWT continues to demonstrate its commitment to me as a part of the team and I could not have hoped for a more supportive group to be with me in this transition.
In Miami, I have the opportunity to re-engage with climate change and resilience planning, the origins of my love for planning. -. While working towards my Master’s in City and Regional Planning from UNC Chapel Hill, I held a fellowship from the Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence and graduated with a certificate in Natural Hazards and Resilience Planning. I focused my research and thesis on the impacts of the federal buyout program. The long-term impacts of that program are yet to be understood, while communities are just starting to figure out what to do with these new “public” lands. There is a tremendous opportunity for creative thinking around how these properties can be designed as community assets and amenities while providing added protection from natural hazards.
In my new hometown, climate change is much more apparent and has become central to every planning and urban design discussion. Miami’s limestone bedrock and intensifying sea level rise creates an urgency to build resilience and implement adaptation strategies across sectors and systems. I am excited to bring SWT Design’s approach to sustainability and performative design to a region where infrastructure and open space are expected to not only mitigate the impact of natural hazards but also function as social amenities where people can gather, play, and build community. This multi-functional and long-term thinking is at the core of our design process and has been since our inception in 1995. We bring many perspectives with one vista so that we can design environments that balance the needs of cities, the evolution of nature, and a perspective for all generations. In South Florida, we hope to continue turning possibilities of urban and natural spaces into living realities, with a focus on planning and designing outdoor environments that bring people together. I cannot wait to share our mission and start a new chapter of innovation for us from Miami!