Park(ing) Day : Success!

Park(ing) Day was a huge success yesterday, and by far the most enjoyable Park(ing) Day in which I’ve participated (I’ve done three!). This was a bold new step for the MSU Planning program; not only were we trying to coordinate our first organized MAPS event, but we were also partnering with students from the Landscape Architecture Program — the first time we’ve done so since I’ve been a student here!

Despite only having a month to plan, I think we pulled it off! We were able to talk to students about who we were, the CBEIS programs, and the purpose of Park(ing) Day. Best of all, everyone walked away safely and, I think, with a few new friends!

Thanks to the SA+P for funding the purchase of some greenery, our “park” was able to attract pollinating bees and butterflies within minutes — and they didn’t want to leave! Also, thanks to Shaun Blake for pulling some strings to have Sabra Hummus come provide snacks for everyone.

Next year, we could make it even better: invite an ice cream vendor, prepare for more shade, and maybe bring some jersey walls! Thank you to everyone who helped out and participated! I had a blast and hope you did, too!

Until next time!
Megan Griffith

Special thanks to…
Our LAAR Coordinator:
Laura Stella

Our participants: Raven Thompsan (CREP), Jasmine Jones (CREP), Kathleen Hayes (LAAR), Ralph Harper (Undergrad. Arch.), Sasha Reamer (LAAR), Brian Hartwyk (LAAR), Hadley Joseph (LAAR), Paul Voos (LAAR Chair)

Assistance from: Brian Stansbury (CBEIS Woodshop) for lending us traffic cones, “countries of the world” boxes, and colorful tarps; Brent “Fig” Figlestahler (LAAR) for helping us transport those boxes to the site; Drew Rojek (LAAR) for helping us get those boxes back home; and Evan Richardson for all the suffering that we put him through!







If We Are Lucky, New Film Could Boost Landscape Architecture

Been waiting for this film! I’m ready!


In case you missed it, actor and comedian Rob Schneider of Saturday Night Live and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo played an uptight landscape architect in his recently canceled CBS sitcom, ¡Rob!, in which he marries younger Maggie (Claudia Bassols) and bumbles his way through trying to befriend her Mexican-American family. ¡Rob!’s Latino stereotypes are so thinly drawn you can practically see through them, and the show’s depiction of Rob Schneider as a landscape architect isn’t much better.

As a landscape designer, I didn’t expect there to be much design intrigue to the show (I watched all eight episodes, trust me, it’s not worth it). Although Rob does have an Eames chair, the same piece of trace paper sits on his drafting table all season and he never uses a computer. Maybe the writers at least visited a professor’s office or read the Wikipedia page about landscape architects before they…

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Interest for an EPI at Morgan

Good evening.

As the newly-appointed Director for the Emerging Professionals Institute (EPI) for the Morgan Association of Planning Students (MAPS), I have included in this email details regarding a small-scale adaptation of the American Planning Association’s (APA) inaugural EPI, an intense (8am-6pm), one-day event that was held in Chicago during their 2013 Annual Planning Conference.

Since my attendance at the EPI, I have always considered a small-scale version at the university level as a realistic possibility. Through presentations, group discussions, and a binder that was provided to all Chicago 2013 EPI attendees, I acquired plenty of knowledge and details that would have been difficult for me to attain via my own efforts. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to attend the event: when I think about the effort that I had to put in to making my attendance at the conference a reality, it’s no wonder that I was one of just two students from Morgan State University’s (MSU) Master of City & Regional Planning (MCRP) program to attend the conference. As a graduate student and aspiring planner, it shouldn’t be so difficult for me to acquire knowledge on how to make a name for myself in the planning profession.

Therefore, it is my goal for the Fall 2013 semester to implement an EPI that will hopefully be within reach of more of Maryland’s planning students, and even those in related fields (i.e. architecture, landscape architecture, etc.). I would also like to see such an event open to students from UMD-College Park, and perhaps other programs, not just MSU.

The purpose of this email is to gauge your interests in working with MAPS and me to make such an event happen. Such an endeavor should bring many stakeholders to the table: alum from MSU’s MCRP program; department chairs; professional development officers (PDOs) from organizations; and presenters/mentors from the EPI that I attended. Communication among so many people will be critical to the implementation and success of a university-scale EPI; thus, this message will appear on social media websites (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). I encourage all those interested in participation to physically attend meetings at MSU’s Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies (CBEIS) building-the dates of which are still to be determined. For those stakeholders that would like to participate in the effort, but are physically unable to attend the meetings, teleconference and video chat technologies could be used to engage everyone in the collaborative effort that is necessary for the for the success of an EPI.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I prefer those interested in contacting me to do so via email; that said, I am also open to phone contact, and my mobile phone number is provided below. I look forward to an inspiring conversation that will lead to a great learning experience for planning students.

Andrew Giraldi
Graduate Student
Department of City & Regional Planning
Morgan State University

Park(ing) Day is September 20th!

ImageThis year, MAPS has asked LAAR students to team up with us as we participate in Park(ing) Day for the first time! What is Park(ing) Day, you ask? WTMD did a piece (featuring an embarrassing snippet from an interview with MAPS president, Megan Griffith) on the event last year, in 2012, briefly describing its purpose and potential. Park(ing) Day demonstrates the value of public space, reconsidering how we devote parking space square footage to empty cars when that space could be better utilized for people.

Participants are asked to simply enjoy the day, inviting passersby to take a load off and to become engaged with a fun/funky/green pop-up parklet. It’s DIY urbanism at its greatest! 

We do need some volunteers; we’ll need folks to help set up bright and early, to engage peers as they walk through Morgan’s campus, and to help disassemble the space in time for rush hour traffic to get by.  Please note your availability using our Park(ing) Day Doodle Poll.

Want to see how awesome Park(ing) Day is? See the cool photos below from when Megan has participated in the past!