The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Ronnie Sloan

Name: Ronnie Sloan
Undergraduate Major: Environmental Policy
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

How did you discover urban planning?
When I first started college, I set my path towards the medical profession. After taking classes in other departments, I began to reconsider. I realized how interconnected poverty, crime, economics, and public health was. I came to the realization that an unbalanced structure of a city and ordinance can make it difficult for a person/community to thrive. I was passionate about all of these challenges. I came to the conclusion that my professional place in regards to addressing these issues was as an urban planner.

If you have done an internship, tell us about that experience.
I have completed four internships during my undergraduate program. If I had to choose one internship that has impacted me the most, it would be working at the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) in 2018. At CEDIK, I collaborated with three graduate interns from various fields (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Historic Preservation) to make a downtown revitalization planning document for the city of Manchester, KY. Each Thursday, we (the intern cohort) set up a mobile design studio in downtown Manchester to embed ourselves into the community. This allowed us to gather as much input as possible, both through experience and in person conversations. This feedback had a significant impact on the findings of the plan. In addition to engaging with the community, I managed, compiled, and organized traffic circulation data on site to make over 10 transportation related maps. Towards the end of the internship, the Kentucky Department of Transportation reviewed the transportation proposal as a part of the Revitalization document. After examining the circulation studies and the recommendations, they approved the proposal. They were compelled to cover the cost to carry out the recommendation as funded by the Kentucky state budget.

What are your career goals?
My career goal is to work more closely with more vulnerable communities. I want to accurately identify the “DNA” of the community by finding existing strengths of the area and show how they could be amplified to support future revitalization efforts. I would love to create and implement a plan that would work to eliminated disparities like the social determinates of health and racial inequalities. I think learning more about design, historic preservation, and other fields in development will help me accomplish my goal.
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