Alda Chan

Master of Urban Planning - 2013

Senior Project Planner
NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Alda Chan

How did being in New York impact your professional journey?

There's nowhere quite like New York City to study urban planning, policy and design—the City is a living lab of the complex issues we tackle in the classroom and the sheer concentration of urban planning, policy and design professionals in NYC is an enormous asset. There are countless opportunities to put your interests and learning to practice through internships or research. 

How did your Wagner experience prepare you professionally for what you are doing today?

Interacting with professors, particularly adjuncts working in the field, exposed me to the challenges practitioners grapple with on a daily basis, the latest developments in the field of planning, and the skills aspiring planners need to command. Capstone served as a culmination of our coursework, asking us to put our learning into practice and make challenging decisions with real implications on places and communities.

Describe your current job.

I manage projects related to the planning and development of new and existing open spaces in the Planning & Parklands division of NYC Parks. My focus has been resiliency planning and coordination for the City’s waterfront parks. I work with a broad range of local stakeholders and municipal, state, and federal agencies to integrate climate change adaptation measures into Park plans and designs, with the goal of enhancing and protecting communities.