July 12 2013

Parting Words: Farewell From Michael Jenkins

Michael Jenkins

It started with a single hashtag and tweet after a week long Sustainable Decisions and Organizations at the University of Nottingham Business School. It was then that I followed and was followed back by Global Site Plans. I found an incredible interest the articles posted by the urban design blog site. Not once did I imagine that I would a featured blogger for the site. It proved to be a great and satisfying challenge for me. My past experience in music far exceeded my knowledge in urban design and sustainability; or so I thought. My 6 month internship with GSP provided me the nesting I needed to curate my thoughts and ideas more clearly. My goal continues to be one in which lends a hand to Oakland and Chicago.

Writing for The Grid has been a fantastic opportunity. I believe it is the power in writing and expressing your thoughts that proves to be insatiable. I always looked forward to writing a new topic and engaging readers into a world they were all familiar with but also with ideas that tested their thinking. This is what Global Site Plans has always meant to me from the first day I began reading the far reaching posts covered on the site. My challenge soon became a comfort and joy.

Looking back, one of my favorite memories from writing for GSP, goes back to my very first article. Thick snow blanketed the streets of Nottingham, a far cry from the sunny weather I am accustomed to at home in Atlanta and San Francisco. Trekking through the unrelenting toughness of the snow, I worked on my first article at a local coffee shop. My approach to writing became far more methodical since finishing my graduate programme at the University of Nottingham. I outlined my research and used professional databases to support and balance my findings. I stayed in the coffee shop for three hours researching and storyboarding the article. After it was finally published, I decided to use Google Plus as a platform to share my writing. It became a widely shared piece in which has led me into intriguing discussions and even receiving invitations into private groups and conferences. I feel as though each article has its own individual story and success, quite similar to what each Grid blogger is to GSP. 

As I leave Global Site Plans, I pack and stow the efforts, the diligence, memories, as well as the greater understanding of urban planning and its connection to economic development with me. As I inch closer into the public sector, an achievement I take with me is the time I spent writing about Nottingham’s public reaching prominence through urban design. This is not a connection, I would have made without my internship, and more importantly opportunity to write for Global Site Plans. I would like to say thank you to my  incredible editor, Debra Hawryzki. Your patience and guidance is what has made a great reading experience for our readers and a wonderful journey for me, possible. I am abundantly overjoyed with gratitude and appreciation. Farewell.

Michael Jenkins

An Oakland, California native, Michael Jenkins is a recent post graduate from the University of Nottingham Business School with a Masters in Business Administration. Jenkins’ interest in urban regeneration and town planning sprouted during a visit to China. It was there that Michael met with firms that combined business consulting with innovative urban designs stimulating economic growth. He believes economic development can be generated through the connections between city council, local business, and education as he saw modeled in China. Currently residing in Nottingham, England, Michael spots similarities between Nottingham and Oakland, as well as opportunities for development and growth. He aims to bring transformational solutions for city improvement. Michael's areas of focus lay within town planning, urban regeneration, and human capital. During his off time, Michael enjoys backpacking, outdoor adventures, vinyasa yoga, and completing items off his bucket list. For more, follow him on twitter @ClaudeMJenkins

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