Although I never experienced the cold war as an adult, that period of time has fascinated me for a number of reasons. In university I studied Latin American history in the 20th century, modern Russian history, and the philosophy of Marxism. To live in a formerly communist country had been a dream of mine which I was able to fulfill by serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Albania after graduate school.
By education I am an urban planner, having earned a Masters degree in the field in 2011 from Cornell University. The most memorable of classes I had at Cornell covered theories of development, such as why places do and do not develop historically. During my time in Albania aspects of those theories have materialized before my eyes. Regarding urban planning, communist societies build cities that are physically different than capitalist places. The experience of living in a different style of urbanism has been rewarding as well.
Before this blog, I wrote more specifically about urbanism on my other blog and covered topics regarding conflicts over privately owned public spaces and the role of urban planning advocacy groups. You can check out city planning related projects of mine there as well, if you’re into that kind of thing.