Michael Hill

STEM Careers: City Planner

Michael Hill

Michael Hill

Planning Coordinator for Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services

Graduated from Western Kentucky University

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It is critically important for our society’s advancement for science research and exploration to also advance exponentially.

How did you become interested in science, specifically geography?

From a young age I remember being interested in the science fields, but it was a 7th grade geography class that really sparked my interest. Unfortunately, geography is an under-appreciated field of study at the high school level in our country. In fact, I didn’t have another geography class after 7th grade until my first year of college.

I started at Western Kentucky University as a geography major, and I stuck with it throughout my four years on “The Hill.” Early on during my first year at WKU I learned about the field of City Planning, which was a component of WKU’s geography program. I was able to keep my Geography major, but steered my focus toward the City & Regional Planning option offered within the major. I’ve been a City Planner ever since.

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Tell us about your job and what it is you do for Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services.

Well, during my 14 years as a City Planner I have worked in large urban and small suburban government planning offices and I’ve spent time working in the private sector as a planning consultant. During most of the time spent working in the public sector I have been a plan reviewer, but my role within Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services has changed within the last year or so.

I currently am the person in charge of Louisville’s Land Development Code (LDC). I regularly field questions regarding various topics found within the LDC. We are always looking for ways to improve the document. In fact, currently our community is undergoing a complete review of the entire LDC. It is quite a large endeavor and I am leading the effort.

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Why is it important to the future of this country to get more students interested in science?

Learning about the various science related fields helps us better understand how and why certain elements of our environment came to be. It is critically important for our society’s advancement for science research and exploration to also advance exponentially.

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What is the professional goal of a city planner like yourself?

My goal as a public sector City Planner is to continuously attempt to have a beneficial impact to our community’s built environment. The decisions and policies set forth by our government leaders can certainly be influenced by local City Planners in an effort to create desirable, high quality spaces for the human experience.

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What do you think would help get students more interested in science at a younger age?

Teachers play a key role in developing an interest for science in students at an early age. If teachers really enjoy and are passionate about teaching science, then more students will continue to be interested in science as they proceed through school.

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