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Rowan University Planning Studio 2024

Community Voices: A New Vision for Rowan University’s Master Plan

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In spring 2024, students from Rowan University undergraduate and graduate Planning Studios, offered in the Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability, worked on a project titled "Community Voices: A New Vision for Rowan University’s Master Plan". The studio collaborated with Rowan University Facilities and consulting firm The Olin Studio, as well as Rowan University Community Planning + Visualization Lab. There were five smaller groups working on specific site plans tied to the broader project. 

P R O J E C T     O U T P U T S


F I N A L 

R E P O R T 

(Grad section)

F I N A L     

P R E S E N T A T I O N 


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Faculty Advisor

Mahbubur Meenar, Ph.D.

Geography, Planning, & Sustainability

School of Earth & Environment



Megan Bucknum, Andrew Dobshinsky, Richard Federman, Amir Hajrasouliha, Ph.D., Ted Howell, Ph.D., Tara Paxton, AICP, PP, Melanie Stewart, Ashley York, Ph.D., Linda Walczak, ASLA

G R A D U A T E       S T U D I O

Team Members (from left): Tyrone Carter, Robert Chiaravalloti, Jonathan Hansel, Larisa Paxton, Arianna Qira, Hope Viviani, Ciara Wenger, Benjamin Woodward


“The experience I had during the planning studio has helped me grow both professionally and personally, and I am grateful for the chance to be a part of it."


"It was very interesting to experience each event and collect different data from diverse groups of people."


“These activities forced me out of my comfort zone, providing me with more experience with professionally approaching strangers, asking questions to a large audience of people, and taking quality notes while I intently listened to participants speaking.”


“The part of the class that I liked the most was the urban design portion. Urban design has always been something I was interested in; however, I never really have had the opportunity to explore that area of the planning field.”


“In all other classes I have taken the research has been literature-related and very writing-heavy. The studio class has allowed for some other skills to be practiced and used."


"I engaged in many different tasks and activities that I believe will greatly help me in my future profession. One skill that jumps out to me is my effective communication, both verbal, written, and visual."


“Having different people with different backgrounds and perspectives really helped come up with amazing ideas for recommendations that I never even thought of including.”


“I think the brainstorming process gave me a lot of insight about how to phrase questions better to collect more purposeful project data. I also learned that it never hurts to pitch an idea in a group setting. ”

U N D E R G R A D U A T E       S T U D I O

Team Members (from left): Joseph Bonagura, Liz Cao, Joe Conte, Ada Elwell, Luther Graham, Evan Mabin, Mason Nickel, Tomasz Osuchowski

(Not pictured) Aidan Burtnick, Cedric Gadie, Sarah Piddington

"The intercept survey activity was new to me. I enjoyed it because it pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me become more comfortable approaching and talking to people." - Joseph B.


"The studio project also gave me an opportunity to lead a team and helped me gain experience for when I am the lead for a given project and/or when I have employees to oversee." - Liz


"The holistic mindset we took on during this course was also appreciated - each task felt like less of an assignment and more of a puzzle piece which would serve to complete a nal product." - Joe C.

" The opportunity to visit and interact with a significant planning [and landscape architecture firm] was a positive experience. Seeing how planning is actually done and undertaken was insightful, and seeing the physical projects they work on helped to solidify that." - Ada

"The activities that I have learned that may eventually assist me in the future professionally would be community workshops and writing reports." - Cedric

"Working with clubs like GeoClub was also a highlight of the class. Being able to host the stations and talk to other students about what they see as issues on campus was really interesting." - Graham

"I was able to learn about planning concepts and research different methods for data collection that were both familiar and unfamiliar to me. This process was also satisfying in hindsight as in drafting the final report I can see how the different concepts and methods we researched were applied in the various work we completed for the report." - Evan

"I enjoyed most about the studio project was working with grad students. I also really liked using real world data that we gathered and assisted with gathering." - Mason

"I enjoyed using my creativity on the project. This was especially true during the design charrette and the SketchUp assignment. These tasks allowed me to explore innovative solutions and provided me with experience to refine my problem-solving abilities, which are essential in planning." - Tomasz

"Learning how to creating a master plan will definitely assist me in the future. I don’t know what direction I will go with planning but I will have to create plans and this project will help prepare me to know what to expect." - Sarah


Class activities - focus groups, community workshop, intercept surveys, design charrette, field trip

Photos captured by Joe Conte, Arianna Qira, and Dr. Meenar

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