Name: Justice Prosper Tuffour
Undergraduate Major: BSc. Human Settlement Planning
Hometown: Kumasi – Ghana.
How did you discover urban planning?
Growing up, I always fancied the architectural designs of buildings and how they make the built environment aesthetically pleasing. After completing senior high school, I was faced with the decision to pursue a field that aligns well with this interest as a career. When the time came for me to choose my undergraduate major, I discovered that there was another multidisciplinary field that integrates the structural makeup of the natural and built environment more comprehensively – while creating functional, inclusive and livable societies on diverse scales of intervention. I therefore identified with urban planning as the perfect platform for me to really make greater impact on society and urban growth dynamics within this field.
Why did you choose the MCMP program at U of Utah?
I specifically chose the MCMP program because I think there is no better place to pursue advanced studies in planning than U of Utah – one of the leading research universities in the United States. Given Utah’s locus as one of the fastest-growing states in US, I was convinced that pursuing the MCMP program in this setting, would provide the perfect environment to help innovative young scholars develop the crucial skillset within diversified backgrounds to manage the complex challenges of cities and communities more effectively. Moreover, the prospect of specializing in ‘smart growth’ offers me a unique opportunity to pursue my research interest of working within the field of land use and transport interactions modelling.
What are your career goals?
My motivation is to build my intellectual capacity as a high caliber scholar with advanced skills capable of designing efficient, equitable and novel planning and management strategies that address the challenges faced by many fast-growing cities globally and other marginalized and under-served groups by extension. I intend to achieve this goal in two ways. One is by way of applying my knowledge and expertise as a professional land use and transport Planner to contribute towards creating functional, equitable and sustainable planning support systems – to ultimately charter the growth paths and shape the destiny of many under-served communities and cities at regional and transnational scales. Additionally, I have the drive and enthusiasm to pursue an academic career so as to give back to society through teaching and research. In this regard, I have a long-term dream of becoming a college Professor someday in the bid to help train the critical mass of urban planners needed to manage and transform cities to make the world a better place.
What would you tell a prospective student about the MCMP program?
MCMP is an exciting program with a lot of experienced and world-class faculty and staff – who are always willing to offer you all the support you need to succeed in your chosen field. Reach out!
Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you:
Aside the fact that “Prosper” was not originally my birth name, I’m always the last to finish the food on my plate. And oh! I always get teary eyes when I have a good laugh.