Urban Musings

Urban Musings

Welcome to this conglomeration of my thoughts and projects. Some of the topics that you will find here include historic preservation, sustainability, affordable housing, active transportation, and the digital divide.

I hope that this information resonates with you.

Samantha Kearney

What is Samantha up to?

I work full time.
Housing Authoirty of the City of Miwlaukee logoHousing Authority of the City of Milwaukee
The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) provides low income and affordable housing, and even market rate housing in our mixed income developments. Our award winning developments are sustainable and blend in with surrounding neighborhoods, all while providing residents with social services that move them towards greater self-suficiency. As HACM's Community Services Coordinator, I work with the Director of Community Services and many others to maximize our social service impact, to analyze data for grant applications and reports, coordinate meetings, and make acquisitions & process invoices for our office.

I am involved in two Milwaukee organizations.
Historic Milwaukee logoTransit System Advisory Council
This is Milwaukee County Transit System's advisory council. I advocate for better bus service several ways. I meet with MCTS staff to provide policy feedback. I also speak at the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors' Committee on Transportation, Public Works, and Transit meetings, advising them to pass legislation and budgets that enhance MCTS' operations.

Historic Milwaukee logoHistoric Milwaukee Inc.
Historic Milwaukee Inc. promotes the city's architecture, history, and culture by giving tours and educating the public in other ways. I occasionally volunteer at ther events and I used to volunteer at their office. Doors Open, a weekend-long event where civic, religious, and private sites are open (free) to the public to showcase architectural and other cultural merits is an event I really enjoy and strongly recommend.

Historic Milwaukee logoI moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I landed in the Cream City in July of 2016, and every day I learn more about this historic, beautiful, and complex place. I look forward to working with communities to accomplish greater vibrancy, equity, prosperity, and sustainability.

I still involved in two Chicago organizations.
The WasteShed's interiorThe WasteShed
A young nonprofit, The WasteShed is a creative reuse center near Chicago's Humboldt Park. It accepts donations of art, school, and office supplies and then sells them below market rate prices, so these items are within more people's budgets. Also, it diverts these materials from landfills, and educates people about reuse (an important but overlooked part of reduce-reuse-recycle). As a board member, I help their Executive Director with grant research, grant writing, and other fundraising efforts.

Chicago CityscapeChicago Cityscape
I am on the Board of Advisors for Chicago Cityscape, a website that makes sense of the permits that Chicago issues, and many more facets of the city as expressed in various forms of open data. Chicago Cityscape shows where developments and demolitions happen, who is involved, and what historic districts, TIFs, wards, etc. are in the area. This information appeals to people interested or working in economic development, affordable housing, historic preservation, real estate development, journalism, and more. Sign up for this free "1909" newsletter, named for the year that the Plan of Chicago was published.

What is the purpose of this website?

I hope that my projects and the external resources that I've assembled can be useful to others. Having this space to articulate my thoughts is also helpful.

Where to go from here:

  • Learn more about my academic and professional background on the About page.
  • The Urban Planning pages contain class projects from my urban planning and policy masters program. They are sorted thematically. Some projects are relevant to multiple themes. There is also a page of planning resources which lists websites and articles that I have found to be incredibly useful and/or inspiring.
  • Visit the Graphic Design page for examples of my work as a graphic designer, and to learn about my social media and marketing experience.
  • Reach Out has a list of regularly occuring networking and lecture events in Chicago that are relevant to urban planning. It also has my contact information.