The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning

Nakyung Judy Kim (BS Urban Ecology, 2021)

Nakyung Judy Kim (BS Urban Ecology, 2021)

How did you discover urban planning and/or urban ecology?

I have been very interested in integrating nature into urban planning. I wanted to learn an overall knowledge of correlations between environment and economy in terms of urban systems and how it is incorporated into certain cities. Based on my interest in urban planning, urban ecology at the University of Utah was the perfect major for me to learn more.

What is your favorite memory from your time with us (for example, a project, course, professor, field trip, friends, lecture, etc.)?

One of my favorite memories during my time at the University of Utah was in my ‘The Just City’ course taught by Professor Canham. I remembered the lecture about (Dis)ability planning.

I was surprised to know the fact that 61 million adults in the US live with a disability which means 26% of adults in the US have some type of disability. The mobility disability is the highest percentage of adults with functional disability types which is 13.7%. I haven’t noticed much of such people in my experience. However, I noticed many of the facilities are well equipped with considerate devices or establishments for disabled people.

  • This graphic picture shows how common disability is in certain groups. It was very interesting to see how common disability is than I expected. It was even more surprising to know that Utah has 23% who f adults who have some type of disability out of 25.6% of disabled adults in the US.
  • In the US, mobility had the highest percentage of people in that type of disability, but in Utah cognition was at the top disability.

These numbers made sense; the community seems to be more open to everyone including disabled people. This is the major difference between Korea, where I am from, and the US. Communities are more open and respectable to many types of people. Korea tends to be ignorant because people are not familiar with these types of differences in their daily life. This lecture even made me look back at myself and realize it is important for everyone to understand that everyone is different and has different struggles and be considerate of others.