In this episode of the "Only Planners in the Building" podcast, host Andy Cross, AICP interviews Cristen Hardin, a project manager with PGAV Planners. Cristen shares her journey into urban planning, starting from growing up in a small town called Brooklyn, Illinois, which is the oldest incorporated African American town in the US. Despite the challenges faced by her hometown, Cristen developed a passion for planning and realized its potential for creating transformative change in communities. She pursued a master's degree in urban planning at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and gained experience through her work with the City of Urbana and the City of Collinsville. Cristen discusses her role at PGAV Planners, an urban planning and economic development consulting firm based in St. Louis, and highlights the three-pronged organizational structure of PGAV, which includes PGAV Architects and PGAV Destinations. She emphasizes the importance of community engagement and education in planning and describes her enjoyment in helping residents understand the value they bring to the planning process. Cristen also reflects on the impact of her small-town upbringing on her work as a planner and shares her decision to transition from the public sector to a private firm like PGAV.
This episode can be heard everywhere your podcast is available. Visit Spotify for listening options. You can also click below to start listening: