Student
Mike Wilson

Mike is a Doctoral Candidate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Affiliated with the Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism, he applies design thinking to the planning and policy challenges of water systems under climate change uncertainty. Mike has taught undergraduate living labs as well as urban planning studios and spatial analysis workshops for graduate students. His dissertation explores how scientific and technical models for urban flood risk intersect with community-level sociopolitical concerns.

As a professional landscape architect, his experience ranges from local public-private partnerships to regional policy analysis. At Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in Brooklyn, he worked as a project manager on the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative in Toronto and on the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency in New York City. At the RAND Corporation in Pittsburgh, he modeled land use change and green infrastructure strategies for the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority’s $2.8 billion wet weather management plan. In addition, Mike has served as a consultant to the Dutch Consulate in New York City and was recently re-appointed a member of the City of Boston Conservation Commission by Mayor Walsh.

Areas of Interest
Climate Change, Environmental Planning and Management, Infrastructure Systems, Landscape Architecture and Natural Systems, Sustainability, Urban Design, Urban Information, Technology, and Media and Analytics

Education

2003 - 2007
Environmental Science and Public Policy, Cum Laude, Harvard College
2007 - 2011
Master in Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
2007 - 2011
Master in Urban Planning, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Professional Experience

2009 - 2013
Senior Designer, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
2014 - 2014
Summer Fellow, Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics
2015 - 2016
Summer Associate and Adjunct Researcher, RAND Corporation

Awards

2007 - 2007
Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, Harvard College
2007 - 2007
Laurance S. Rockefeller Thesis Prize, Harvard College
2007 - 2008
Presidential Fellowship, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
2011 - 2011
Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
2011 - 2011
Award for Academic Excellence in Urban Planning, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
2013 - 2014
Presidential Fellowship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2017 - 2017
William Emerson Travel Fund Grant, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
2017 - 2017
Lynne Sagalyn and Gary Hack Fund Grant, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
2017 - 2017
Research Seed Grant, Boston Area Research Initiative/Boston Indicators
2017 - 2018
C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy