Marcus Costa

Marcus Costa Master's Candidate

Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Where did you go for undergrad and what did you major in?

I received B.Sc. degrees in Public Administration from Fundação João Pinheiro and in Law from Universidade Federal do Estado de Minas Gerais. Both are located in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. I chose these courses because of my interest in understanding public policies, moved by the desire to see with my own eyes the backstage of government and public policy. 

Why did you choose to attend DURP at UIUC?

My career led me to engage with urban policies, being involved, for example, in the project that recreated Belo Horizonte's Metropolitan Region Planning Agency. I also took part in one of the State of Minas Gerais' commissions responsible for analyzing developments in the metropolitan area, working with professionals from different backgrounds, like transportation, environmental and economic development. I also worked with a major "Origin and Destination" database, for metro Belo Horizonte. Researchers used that source to understand the city and its changes throughout the years.

After six years of work experience I felt like developing into the Urban Policy field. A Master in Urban Planning was a logical choice. In my prospective research DURP at UIUC stood out as a top quality school. The helpfulness of DURP staff called my attention, being a clear sign of the carefulness and dedication the program gives. Additionally, the perspective of studying in a small community, having everything close to me, added points.

Today I can confirm my expectation of DURP's amazing program. I truly appreciate the department's connection with the broader urban planning network, granting the student the possibility to tailor his own career and engage in areas of his most interest.

What are your career ambitions?

I see myself working in a local and regional economic development field. The idea of building dynamic urban places in the economic, physical and social sense attracts me. While community self-awareness and political organization represents 50% of it, the other half of the solution belongs to the economic domain.

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