Born and raised in India, she earned her undergraduate degree in Architecture -- recognized as the top female in her graduating class. While pursuing her Masters in Urban Planning at University of Michigan, she was selected for the Peters Fellowship. Enjoying her experience in Chicago, Tanvi finished her degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago and took a position at the Chicago offices of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. She drew upon her Fellowship experience for her work on the Master Plan for the Country of Bahrain. Tanvi has since returned to India and to teach urban design at the graduate School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi.
What attracted you to the Phillip D. Peters Regional Planning Fellowship Program?
The opportunity to work with a planning agency in a metropolitan area was very exciting. The Fellowship gave me the ideal opportunity to work on various projects across departments and see the workings of a metropolitan planning agency.
What kinds of projects did you work on during your fellowship? What benefit do you believe they contributed the Northeastern Illinois region?
I primarily worked on the Common Ground project, which made the 2040 Regional Framework Plan a true "people's plan." Participation by residents, elected officials and community leaders in the process will make the 2040 Regional Framework plan more successful than its predecessors.
How did the Fellowship help to shape your career path and ambition?
Common Ground was a terrific learning experience and I decided to transfer from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to the University of Illinois at Chicago so that I could continue working on the project. Since then my work has been focused on the rebuilding of inner cities.
What did you find to be special about CMAP (or NIPC)?
The commitment of the staff at NIPC to Common Ground was exemplary. It was a new process, which required new methodologies. It required immense dedication from the project team to make it a truly successful process.
What makes the Northeastern Illinois region a special place to work as a regional planner (or related field)?
Chicago has a great architecture and planning legacy. It is one of the few cities in the world that has managed to provide the people who live there inhabitants with uninterrupted access to the waterfront. It is a green city and has a culture of preservation and innovation.
What are you doing professionally now?
After finishing my masters at UIC, I joined Skidmore, Owings and Merrill as an urban planner. I worked on a range of planning projects in the U.S., Europe, China and India. Thereafter, I moved back to New Delhi, India.
Why is regional planning an important function in a metropolitan region?
In our rapidly urbanizing world, long-term planning at the urban, regional and national levels are necessary for sustainable development.