Podcast Shows Urban Planning Is Anything But Dull

“Urban Planning is Not Boring” is a podcast created by USC alumni Samantha Ellman and Natalie Ikhrata which highlights just how fascinating the field of planning can be.

1 minute read

July 7, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Clement Lau

Aerial view of beach bike path and palm trees in Santa Monica, California

Bike path on the beach in Santa Monica, California. | Marcus Jones / Adobe Stock

While it may not be obvious to those outside the field, urban planning is actually very interesting, especially when one begins to understand how it impacts our daily lives and the places where we live, work, and play. To show how relevant and important planning is, University of Southern California (USC) graduate students, Samantha Ellman and Natalie Ikhrata, created the podcast “Urban Planning is Not Boring” about a year ago.

The podcast connects urban planning to timely news events and social issues and has now reached 37 episodes, with Ellman and Ikhrata discussing topics ranging from affordable housing to natural hazards. The show has featured a wide variety of guests, including both practitioners and academics, giving listeners free, valuable insights into urban planning and its many sub-fields such as urban design, disaster planning, transportation planning, and affordable housing development.

Ellman and Ikhrata, who both graduated from USC in May with master’s degrees in urban planning, were inspired to start the podcast when they recognized that resources to explore urban planning outside the classroom were lacking. Not only were there very few planning-focused podcasts, those that were available  were not very engaging, especially for students and young professionals. 

To learn more about the podcast and its creators, please read the source article by Edhita Singhal. 

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