The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Jenna Benson

Name: Jenna Benson
Undergraduate Major: Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Hometown: West Jordan, UT

How did you discover urban planning?
As an environmental and sustainability studies undergraduate at the U, I was looking for a way to make my degree more specialized. During my search, I came across the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning’s urban ecology minor. I was immediately drawn to the subject matter and how it formed a nexus between the physical environment, sustainability, and justice. I felt as though I had finally found my niche, which led me down the path of urban planning.

Why did you choose the MCMP program at U of Utah?
I attended the University of Utah as an undergraduate and during this time I grew to love the university, the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning, and the surrounding Salt Lake City area. I chose the U’s MCMP program because of its interdisciplinary format and to continue working in a place that I love.

What are your career goals?
As an urban planner, I hope to work on multidisciplinary ecological planning projects that promote sustainability, equity, and public health. Specifically, I am interested in getting involved in projects that help cities adapt to environmental hazards and adverse weather events associated with climate change. While I plan on staying in Utah for now, I would enjoy moving throughout the Western United States to focus on environmental planning issues that are confronting the region.

Tell us one thing most people do not know about you.
I love mid-century modern furniture and design! It can be difficult to get authentic MCM pieces in decent condition in the Salt Lake Valley, so I am constantly checking D.I. and the KSL Classifieds for good finds.