Ryan Kurtzman is a master’s student in the Urban and Regional Planning department at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is interested in topics such as the role of public finance in neighborhood change, inclusive public space design, barriers to public transit access, and the relationship between transit-oriented development and gentrification.
Prior to enrolling at UCLA, Ryan worked for four years in Washington, DC in both the public and private sectors. He began his career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working to establish an emissions compliance and reporting system to support Clean Air Act standards. He then worked for SOL VISTA, an energy efficiency software company dedicated to helping commercial buildings achieve greater environmental sustainability. While living in Washington, DC, Ryan regularly volunteered with the Coalition for Smarter Growth and the Whitman-Walker Health Clinic. It was this engagement with community members that inspired Ryan to pursue a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning.
During his graduate career at UCLA, Ryan served as a researcher for the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, first conducting fieldwork in Santa Monica to understand community perceptions of public parks, and more recently conducting data analyses to examine why public transit ridership has fallen in the Los Angeles region despite increased investment and City support. He also serves as the Director of Bruins for Urban Design and Development, a student organization that leads design workshops, organizes local affordable housing tours, and connects students to practicing urban planners.
Ryan is honored to be joining the Mayor’s Office of City Services as part of the 2017-18 David Bohnett Fellowship Program. He is thrilled to work with passionate City leaders on projects relating to parks and recreation, aging in place, and the Mayor’s Great Streets Initiative.