Hello and welcome to Planningnerd.net!
My name is Levi Stewart and this blog is going to help channel my inner planning nerd. Even though I’m working in Miami, I find myself with a lot of “free time” and I’m not well adjusted for such.For 4yrs I lived in Orlando, FL and attended the University Of Central Florida (UCF). I finished my Master of Science in Urban Planner (MSURP) in 2015 as well as my Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security(EMHS). While I was in Orlando I worked two jobs, went to school full-time, and was involved in a ton of other activities. My favorite being the UCF Urban Knights, GO KNIGHTS!
A little more about me, personally:
I grew up in South Louisiana, outside the hustle and bustle of the big cities, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, on a little farm in the middle of nowhere, Exit 29 off of I-12 (Holden, LA). The town was so small when I was growing up, we didn’t even get the name of the exit sign. It literally said, “Exit 29 Louisiana HWY 441”.
How did a farm boy from rural Louisiana grow up to be a planner in the International Super-City of Miami? A lot took me from South Louisiana to South Florida and you will see that throughout my blog. The simplest answer is Hurricane Katrina. Katrina got me into planning and the need for resiliency planning took me to Florida.
A little more about me, professionally:
I have always been drawn to science, community development, and architecture. When I was a kid I never knew what I wanted to be. How do you blend so many interests into one profession, in a world that is so specialized? Hurricane K., ironically, helped me to put together the pieces.
Before the storm I was studying geophysics at The University of New Orleans (UNO). The semester after, my program was canceled and I was left with a lot of credits and no major. So, I went into interdisciplinary studies and focused on urban planning, because it would get me out the quickest. I immediately loved it. Planning was a place where creativity, community, and the environment blended into one big swirl. The product of that swirl could be a fantastic city, if done correctly.
Since graduating from UNO, I have moved to Florida and completed my MSURP and EMHS at UCF.
Over the course of my 4yrs in Central Florida, I developed a strong background in transportation and environmental planning. I also got to focus a lot on smart growth. Central FL is a great and growing place, that offered a lot of opportunity to learn.
I was very lucky at UCF. I had a lot of great opportunities and mentors to help me grow into an efficient, reliable, and highly motivated planner. I worked for Orange County as well as two private firms. The experiences and knowledge gained could never be duplicated. I also had the opportunity to travel to Seoul, Republic of Korea and obtain international planning experience through the UCF’s international exchange.
I was at the right place at the right time. All of these things combined have allowed me to offer an interdisciplinary mind with a unique combination of creativity and analytical skills. I also learned the importance of working collaboratively across barriers and with different parties to forge strong working relationships and partnerships.
How everything is set up:
My Hope is for this to be as simple as possible. Use the Menu button in the top right to navigate the site most easily. Under the CATEGORIES tab, you will find Articles, Blog Spot, House Keeping, and Studies.
Articles – Here you will find articles I find interesting and want to share.
Blog Spot – This is where you will find original content from myself or anyone else I know.
House Keeping – In this folder, I will give updates about the blog and anything that doesn’t “fit” the other categories.
Studies – More academic than fun, this category will be more of the meat and bone/dry stuff for the real nerds.