April 24 2014

Farewell to The Grid, from Colin Poff in Seattle, Washington

Colin at the Cliffs of Moher, Irelad

After six enjoyable months of writing for The Grid, this is my final post. Writing about what you are interested in, however formal it is, will always be beneficial. By putting together these blogs, I have been able to follow, as well as adapt, my main interest, concerns, and perspectives with issues related to urban planning. I have been able to share ideas with others, while challenging my own assumptions in the process.

My keen interest in urban planning always manages to surface itself in unexpected ways. Seattle Seahawks super bowl victory inspired a blog about historic preservation, for example. My first blog about changing building heights in South Lake Union allowed me to explore the potential, as well as indirect consequence, of the aggressive rezoning. A book review of Chuck Wolfe’s “Urbanism Without Effort,” was an opportunity to analyze an informative text, but also interview the author who shared some unique perspectives. I even wrote about parking minimums, something I never thought I could find interesting!

At the moment I have the opportunity to travel around Europe. I am currently writing from the west cost of Ireland, an absolutely beautiful place (despite the lack of sidewalks, which makes for dangerous trips to the pub). While I wrap up writing for The Grid, the perspectives I have developed over its duration will continue to affect how I see urban environments around the world. I encourage others to be a critical observer of the built environment; I find that it allows me to discover new things about the city I am in.

Mist in Seattle, WA

I also recently ended an internship with the City of Redmond long-range planning department. This was another great opportunity, and gaining this practical experience while writing for The Grid has prepared me well for the future. Next year I will pursue my masters in urban planning at the University of Washington, and cannot wait to get started.

For those of you that have read some my posts, thank you. As a student in the field, I look at this as a learning experience, and appreciate critiques of my opinions.

I would also like to say thank you to Global Site Plans for allowing me this opportunity. I encourage anyone with a career or even a budding interest in the built environment, to consider writing for The Grid. Writing blogs is a great medium to engage with your ideas, and to be involved in a supportive community with similar interests.

If you have not visited Seattle before, I encourage you to do so. This city inspires me, and is one of many reasons I intend to be a city planner. A slight northwest bias comes through in my perspectives, but I don’t deny it. Thank you.

Credits: Images by Colin Poff. Data linked to sources.

Colin Poff

Colin Poff is a recent graduate from Western Washington University where he studied Political Science and Economics. He currently interns at the City of Redmond, where he is providing research and analysis for the long-range planning department. While traveling in Europe and in China Colin became a critical observer of modern cities, and curious about how policies can be crafted to facilitate economic development with community values in mind. In his career, he would like to make cities more dynamic and livable by encouraging mixed-use areas and people-focused design. Next fall, Colin intends to pursue a Masters in Urban Planning. When he is not in the city, you can find him in the mountains, skiing with his friends.

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