Phil LaCombe is an aspiring urban planner and historic preservationist based in the Washington-Baltimore metro area. Phil applies his knowledge and skills to prepare our cities and towns for a future beyond oil. He has worked with government and advocacy groups to advance principles of sustainable transportation and smart growth development, and with local preservationists to better understand the historical resources that ground their communities.
Phil was raised in the Pioneer Valley region of Western Massachusetts, where he was exposed to traditional New England villages, former industrial cities, contemporary nature preserves, and post-war suburban sprawl.
In the spring of 2009 he studied abroad at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen, taking classes in Danish society and politics, urban history and urban design. There he studied under a former member of parliament and urban designers from the world-renowned firm Gehl Architects.
In May 2010 Phil received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and political science from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. In addition to his classroom studies, he engaged in extensive progressive political activism on campus, state, and national issues and campaigns.
During the summer of 2010, Phil interned at WalkBoston, a pedestrian advocacy non-profit organization located in Downtown Boston at Old City Hall. At WalkBoston he worked on research of innovative and more equitable community outreach techniques in transportation planning.
In August 2010 Phil enrolled in a dual-degree Master of Community Planning and Master of Historic Preservation program at the University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation in College Park. Living in Maryland, he studies smart growth and New Urbanist communities first-hand. Currently, he also works toward more sustainable transportation planning as a graduate assistant at the Maryland Department of Planning. Phil expects to complete his graduate degrees in December 2012.
Phil holds a particular interest in 19th-century urban architecture and former industrial cities. He hopes to work toward the revitalization of Baltimore, Maryland through preservation of its historic buildings and urban fabric and the installation of sustainable 21st-century transportation infrastructure.