Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Hi everyone in the Girl Gone Smart Universe! My name is Dan Jeanson and I'm an urban planner. Judging by the follow-up questions that I usually get when I tell people I first meet what I do, you may be wondering what that means. The easiest way I can sum it up is that I help my community decide how they should develop (building new homes, businesses, etc).
My passion for planning began when I was 12 years old and I got my hands on SimCity, the city-building game that allows you to be the mayor/god of your simulated town and control how it grows/withers. I would spend hours laying out road networks, adjusting taxes to guide what kind of uses I wanted (commercial, residential, industrial) and placing utilities and services for the city. From there I played most of the city-building games that came after SimCity and also got into The Sims, where I probably spent more time building the homes that my sims would live in rather than watching their lives play out. Currently I'm playing Cities: Skylines, which is a much more realistic and playable game than SimCity and also allows you to install mods built by other people.
I attended UAlbany for my undergrad and graduate degrees, earning a BA with a double major in Urban Studies & Planning and History, and a Masters in Regional Planning. I have worked at the Hudson River Valley Greenway since 2014. The Greenway is a state agency that assists municipalities in the Hudson Valley with grants for economic development, planning projects, and environmental assessments/plans. We also run the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (NHA), which is a program of the National Park Service. Through the NHA, we assist organizations and municipalities with funding for educational, heritage, and marketing activities.
I will be discussing everything from development issues, why people live where they live, transportation, environmental justice (issues related to siting harmful land uses near low-income, minority, and vulnerable communities who may not have the political power to fight them), and much more!
My goal, just like in my professional life, is to educate and highlight issues in a way that allows you to make an informed decision about what kind of community you want to live in.
Thanks and can't wait to get started!