Benny Friedman - I always like to say that I was born a geodesign student. Long before I ever knew the world of geodesign existed, I was making homemade maps on my bedroom floor, exploring new neighborhoods, and trying to design my own cities in my favorite computer game Sim City. Once high school came around I had discovered new passions in the worlds of technology and the problem of climate change. I knew I wanted to combine my passions in a pursuit to build cities that were smart and resilient to climate change.
The B.S. in GeoDesign program has done just that. The combination of design methodology and technical scientific knowledge provided in our classes has given me a skill set well suited for designing positive change in the world around me. Through the program, I have already been able to start making an impact, working on projects designing new downtowns in the Los Angeles area and crafting climate action plans for cities in Los Angeles County.
Looking forward, I am excited to dig deeper into the overlap of data, technology and cities. I want take part in the creation of a science of cities. I hope we can one day understand the innerworkings of cities and populations at the same level that a doctor understands the innerworkings of the human body. Maybe we will be able prescribe a certain park as a cure for community health problems or a certain transportation network to lower CO2 output by 50%. I think the GeoDesign program represents a true bright spot for our world’s future. - Benny Friedman