Building a New World: Urban Planning

Amaya White ‘22, Montclair State University

I had the opportunity to interview one of my friends from high school about his college experience at Rutgers.  Jared Aisenberg is an Urban Planning and Design major, which he defines as ”the study of urban realms, and the fundamentals of planning and revitalization of them”. He’s very knowledgeable on transportation and the geography of New York City. Anytime I have questions about navigating the Big Apple, he’s there to guide me. 

If you’re thinking about an Urban Planning major, you’ll be interested to read about Jared’s experience.

Q: How did you decide on Urban Planning

A: I’ve always had an affinity for geographic landscapes and maps, and I found a fascination in ones that had public transportation on them. I studied them on my own and created ‘what if’s’ in my head as if I was actually planning extensions and overhauls. When I took a freshman seminar related to the topic, I learned to love the movements of people and how they interact with transit. As someone with the social skills and mind that I have it was the perfect fit.

Q: What was your favorite class – and why?

A: My favorite class so far is Designing Healthy Cities. The class gave me an independent approach to how each student would make a city more sustainable for the future and we all presented final projects on our plans in the end.

Q: Did you have a favorite project?

A: The project, as mentioned previously, was the complete overhaul and revitalization of the New York City subway system. It was a 14-minute video that tackled health problems, planning & operations, and policy to make the system healthier for the people.

Q: How does Urban Planning translate into your career goals?

A: I hope to revitalize mass transit systems. My career goal would be to be known as the man that made mass transit a fun, reliable source again. To get there, I think my major will help me find a career very easily, since Rutgers is at the heart of two major cities that rely on urban planners. Internship opportunities start with the university’s own mass transit system. It can lead to working in transportation corporations, public health and policy, government, and architectural firms. Some people continue into law.

Q: Any tips for students considering an Urban Planning major?

A:  An Urban Planning major is pretty unique. You might also want to try a Planning & Public Policy major, which takes a more law and governmental approach to the making of policy for planning purposes. But don’t worry that you feel like none of the classes you’ve taken correlate. Take the intro courses, and see what they’re all about!