About Michael Podgers
Michael Podgers is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in history and German language and culture with a specialty in modern European history with a focus on Germany and Austria prior to World War One. He is also interested in art history, LGBTQ studies and language learning (specifically French and Dutch).
Michael grew up on Chicago’s Northwest Side. He attended Lane Tech College Prep H.S. While at UW-Madison, he spent a year studying in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany as part of the university’s Academic Year in Freiburg study abroad program in partnership with the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. While in Freiburg he worked for that city’s Department of International Affairs as an intern.
He is passionate about cities and making them great places. He plans on pursuing a career in urban planning and wants to dedicate his work to making cities more sustainable, improve transportation access, and work to create great public spaces.
He believes it is important to look at any profession from diverse perspectives. For him, urban planning can be viewed through the prisms of history, art, sexual health, or fashion as much as sociology, architecture, or geography.
Urbanelijk (urb-ann-e-like) is a forum to encourage conversations about urban planning and design, architecture, and sustainable development and living. Michael believes in the importance of learning from others’ opinions and building a strong knowledge base through peer-to-peer engagement.
The name ‘Urbanelijk’ is a nod to the Netherlands and Dutch urban design. Dutch cities, Amsterdam the most famous example, have proven that modern urban life can exist without an over dependence on cars, thus provide high-quality, economical living in an incredibly environmentally friendly way. Inspired by these places, I created a name that reflects my emphasis on transportation and sustainable living and an appreciation for Dutch culture. The name Urbanelijk (urb-ann-e-like) uses the Dutch suffix ‘-lijk’ (equivalent of the English ‘-ly’) to create the distinct name, in appearance and pronunciation.