Saturday, April 20, 2013

In an egg-shell...

My name is Jonathan David Egger, and I am an aspiring urban planning professional.  This is my new blog which will include an opinionated discussion of urban planning and urban design topics.  These topics vary from community development to transportation and will discuss points of view regarding proposed development, trends in neighborhoods, infrastructure developments, or transportation modes.  I use the term "egg" shell as a play on my last name and in reference to the phrase, "in a nutshell..."

Who I am, in an eggshell...

I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I have always had an interest in buildings and construction since I was younger.  Some of my earliest memories were watching the decaying steel mills giving way to clean slates of land ripe for redevelopment and reuse.  As I got older, my interest expanded to include transportation.  I became fascinated with our ribbons of highways and expansive air fields.  Now, my main interest is in public transportation, intercity passenger rail, and complete street development.

Upon graduation from Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh, I attended Millersville University of PA where I completed a Bachelor of Art program in environmental geography.  Six months later, I decided I wanted to pursue more courses in the field of planning and GIS.  This eventually lead me to pursue a Masters degree from West Chester University, which I completed in 2010.

About a year later, having struggled to successfully find an organization to use my talents and passion to build a planning career with, I decided to work as a freelance consultant to gain experience.  I began advertising myself as Jonathan Egger Design and Planning services.  I provided land planning services to a Delaware-based propane distribution company as they pursue locations for a distribution facility.  Other projects include providing insight to projects pertaining to corridor development and site development.  Since March, 2012, I have been serving on the Downingtown Borough Planning Commission.

The Objective...

I regularly educate myself on issues that relate to urban planning and development through press releases, internet postings, and other media.  I also regularly purchase publications from the American Planning Association, of which I have been a member since 2010.  My overall objective is to inform other readers who themselves are established professionals in urban and regional planning or those who have an interest in community development or transportation.  On top of that, I want to inform folks of current issues pertaining to these subjects.  As someone who regularly educates himself in this field, I would especially like to engage in discussion about my opinions of the current issues.  My posts will mainly focus on areas in and around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, but my geographical area of interest could include anywhere in the Great Lakes to the Middle Atlantic area.  My posts, for the most part, will be on a weekly basis, but I may occasionally post things on more of a daily basis depending on popularity of the posts and the frequency at which issues surface.

I do have an ultimate goal, however.  While I have a masters degree in this field, I have yet to successfully seek employment as a city planner.  I would like to get myself out there so that established professionals in need of urban planners will acknowledge my passion and drive for this field, see what I have to offer, and take a chance on me to facilitate growth and development for years to come.