Mike is a Doctoral Candidate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Affiliated with the Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism, he applies design thinking to the planning and policy challenges of water systems under climate change uncertainty. Mike has taught undergraduate living labs as well as urban planning studios and spatial analysis workshops for graduate students. His dissertation explores how scientific and technical models for urban flood risk intersect with community-level sociopolitical concerns. This work is a continuation of his master’s thesis, featured in Environment@Harvard.
As a professional landscape architect, his experience ranges from local public-private partnerships to regional policy analysis. At Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in Brooklyn, he worked as a project manager on the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative for the Lower Don Lands in Toronto and on the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency in New York City. Reflecting on this professional experience, Mike co-authored an article in the August 2013 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine on the reuse of material in Brooklyn Bridge Park. At the RAND Corporation in Pittsburgh, he modeled land use change and green infrastructure strategies for the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority’s $2.8 billion wet weather management plan. In addition, Mike has served as a consultant to the Dutch Consulate in New York City and was recently re-appointed a member of the City of Boston Conservation Commission by Mayor Walsh.