The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Byron Head

Name: Byron Head
Undergraduate Major: International Studies and Arabic
Hometown: Nashville, TN

How did you discover urban planning?
I kinda had a quarter-life crisis after finishing my undergraduate degree. After bouncing around dipping my feet in the water of different professions for a couple of years, I ended up getting a job with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. That job exposed me to the world of transportation planning, which is how I eventually ended up here in Utah.

Why did you choose the MCMP program at U of Utah?
My interest is in active transportation and transportation demand management. I’ve lived in TN and MS for most of my life, where those two concepts aren’t exactly prioritized. In stark contrast, Salt Lake City has a grid street network, excellent cycling infrastructure, and a robust public transit system, making it an exemplary environment in which to learn about those issues. The proximity to the mountains and the promise of seeing real snow in the winter are additional perks.

What are your career goals?
I hope to find work doing active transportation planning and/or transportation demand management at the local level. Working at the state level for 2+ years, I realized my sympathies lie with the people who actually live on a given street, rather than those who use it simply to commute between their downtown office and suburban home.

What would you tell prospective students about the MCMP program?
There is so much going on around the city and on campus, and multiple opportunities to make connections and get involved. I’ve been here for 2 months and have already had the chance to attend 4 different conferences, one of which was in Portland.

Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.
If there’s an antonym for the word “foodie,” that’s me.