Name: Taylor Maguire
Undergraduate Major: Urban Ecology
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
How did you discover urban planning?
I began with architecture, became disenchanted with the field – it seemed to be more about how excessive one could make the buildings and far less about their impact, use, monetary cost, or environmental cost. I moved off-grid living in, teaching about, and building completely self-sustainable residential buildings using reclaimed and reused materials – and then realized many of the issues self-sufficient homes run into are due to zoning – and I ended up in planning.
Why did you choose the MCMP program at U of Utah?
When I decided to go back to school I was living in New Mexico, which isn’t exactly known for the funding and opportunities their schools are able to provide. Moving back to the state I grew up in meant a chance for a better education, exemplified by my decade of experience.
If you have done an internship, tell us about that experience.
I’ve never done an internship – but in my decade of working in the field, I’m familiar with alternative constructions, water catchment and filtration, berm housing, photovoltaic systems, architectural drawings, licensed plumbing for off-grid living, grey and black water systems, passive heating and cooling systems, low-impact designs focused on site plans and regions,
green infrastructure, and living buildings.
What are your career goals?
My main interest lies in residential access to livable, walkable cities – I’m passionate about the effective design and zoning of cities can have on its inhabitants; gentrification, displacement, food deserts, lack of infrastructure, lack of access to public green spaces, and how these things can affect how healthy, sustainable, and resilient a population will be.
Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you:
I’m currently serving as a Noncommissioned Officer in the Army 19th Special Forces.