Master of Urban Design student Sam Foster is looking forward to developing his hands-on skill-set, while also working part-time as an urban planner.
“I’ve had some exposure to urban design through my work, and I was keen to develop myself in that area.
“I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Auckland, and urban design has interested me since I started working in planning. I’ve always found the way people use places and spaces interesting and urban design as a discipline works well with urban planning.
“Last year a group of us travelled to Sydney and Melbourne, giving us the opportunity to see things from a different perspective, due to the sheer size of those cities. We toured various development sites, and visited the University of New South Wales to meet with lecturers there.
“For the research component of the degree, I examined the growth strategies of Auckland and Sydney, comparing how the two cities aimed to deliver these aspirations while achieving good urban design through the use of urban design guides.
“By focusing on guidelines for high density development, I was able to explore the level of certainty of these outcomes being delivered. That was a good way to thread my planning and policy analysis into urban design. I’m now looking forward to developing a hands-on skill-set through our design studio this year.
“My thinking has changed since my undergraduate degree, now I’ve had real world experience. You have a different level of knowledge and interaction with your lecturers.
“Part-time postgraduate study on top of full-time work is a lot to juggle, but I have great support from my employer.”