Livable Streets intern: Lauren!

My name is Lauren Pessoa. I have lived in East Flatbush all of my life and I will be an intern with Sustainable Flatbush. I recently graduated in May from George Washington University with a BA in International Affairs and Geography. I intend to pursue a master’s degree in urban planning with a concentration in transportation.

I first became interested in urban planning my senior year in high school. After hearing how the Atlantic Yards project was going to change the landscape of downtown Brooklyn I wanted to know learn more about how the planning process worked. I wanted to learn how communities could be more involved in the decision making process. Although GWU did
not have an Urban Affairs major, many of the planning courses were incorporated into the Geography major. Studying Geography opened my eyes to more ways of looking at the world; not just the nuts and bolts of the facts, locations or statistics but to how the environment, politics, economics are intertwined and related.

I studied abroad in Tokyo for one semester and took a course focusing on architecture, urban planning and development. In this course, we had to choose a problem in the built environment and think of creative solutions based on others’ ideas and our own. I chose to focus on how to make Tokyo Station a final destination rather than a place to pass through.
This project piqued my interest in transportation planning. Through this project I learned that transportation could be used as a way of controlling the way people interacted and the way culture and information were dispersed throughout a city. A transportation hub can connect people to more places, making more locations accessible and enhance the culture of the surrounding area.

I am excited to be working with Sustainable Flatbush on the Livable Streets initiative. I am interested in the dynamics of major transportation corridors and the economic and cultural effects of transportation planning. I am also interested in diversifying modes of transportation as well as increasing safety for drivers, bikers and pedestrians. I look forward to working with Sustainable Flatbush towards that goal.

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