May 23, 2024

Ruben Flores-Marzan, a Ph.D. Candidate in Regional Planning at UMass and Special Projects Manager at Roxbury Community College (RCC), is bridging the gap between academia and communities to inspire the next generation of planners.  

Ruben and Kenneth Reardon, Professor and Chair of Urban Planning and Community Development at UMass Boston launched The High School Program in Urban Planning to build awareness around planning careers and ignite interest among students of underrepresented backgrounds in the field. In summer 2022, participating students gained real-world insights in planning through a project that focused on extreme heat conditions in the Roxbury area. Students were also invited to enroll in two UMass Boston urban planning courses, tuition-free, followed by a 12-week paid internship in planning. 

The program’s enrollment doubled in 2023 with students from 4 additional high schools joining.

Learn more in a new American Planning Association article titled "Empowering the Next Generation of Planners" by Nina Walters.

Photo by Michael Bryant Photography.

Photo by Michael Bryant Photography.