My Personal Reading List
You know that clichéd image of the geeky kid with glasses who read books at parties instead of playing with the other kids?
Ten years ago, I was that cliché. I used to read anything and everything I could get my hands on. It got to the point where my mom had to check for books under the covers when I went to sleep.
Fast forward to 2016, and I haven't read more than five books in the last couple of years combined. As I mentioned in my first blogpost, one of my goals is to read more often, so in an effort to accomplish this, I've compiled a giant reading list of books that I'd like to read in the near future. Almost all are related to urbanism, city planning, or economic development in some way or another.
If you have any books or authors to add, please get in touch and let me know!
"Banking Deserts" and Personal Finance
Since graduating from college in 2014, I've had to maneuver life in the real world. I was fortunate to never have to worry about money growing up, but teaching myself about personal finance over the last few years has been an interesting challenge. With an internet connection and with knowledgable peers and friends, I've been able to fill in most of the gaps.
I've been thinking recently about people and communities without access to banks and other financial institutions. In places like these -- which I'll refer to as "banking deserts" -- how does this lack of access to basic financial services (such as a checking account, savings, financial advice, etc.) impact a community's path towards financial health and development?
My blog will include my thoughts and research into this topic. Since I work at a company that makes mapping software, I plan on starting with mapping the problem in Detroit and moving forward from there. Stay tuned!
"Smart Cities" and Urban Tech
I was introduced to the concept of a "Smart City" back in a class called 1.013, otherwise known as the senior capstone for MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. During the course of my senior year, I had the privilege of working alongside my 19 classmates to research, design, and deploy a network of air quality sensors across MIT's campus.
This air quality project, called Clairity, utterly changed my perspective and my understanding on how technology could be combined with the urban landscape in innovative and powerful ways.
Clairity set me on the path I'm on today; it led me to work at the Air Liquide i-Lab in Paris, France after graduation, where I learned how the private sector can play a role in building products that intersect the tech industry and the urban environment.
From there, I joined the team at LOVELAND Technologies. Surrounded and supported by a group of diverse and talented colleagues, I'm diving even deeper into this field, helping build tools that change the way cities around the country operate and grow.