This past month, APA-IL Illinois State Section (APA-ISS) provided the Student Planning Organization (SPO) at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) with $1,000 to fund “Storytelling with Digital Planning Tools”, workshop centered around urban design and map-making tools. ISS and SPO worked together to create a two-day workshop on March 26th and April 2nd for Planning at Illinois students, taught by a planning professional. Eric Van Buskirk, Planner at the City of Champaign, led this workshop.
Designed as a studio-like, collaborative workshop, students not only learned from Eric, but from each other. Each student was provided with a large package of Champaign data including layers like zoning, traffic, buildings, parks, streets, etc. Students learned how to manipulate these layers in ArcGIS and then export into Adobe software to create maps that told a story of their choosing. Roughly 40 students attended and left with knowledge that they can apply to their classes and futures in Planning.
“As someone who was unfamiliar with mapping and the digital tools used in this workshop, I was pleasantly surprised at how approachable and fun learning these skills was! Plus, I feel like I now have the ability to teach myself more about these tools, and to have a leg up in any mapping classes I take in the future." - Natalie Crown
APA-ISS is happy to assist students with professional development opportunities and thanks Eric for leading the workshop!
Photos courtesy of Roya Nassirpour, SPO Student Representative