Though Jonathan grew up in suburban Pelham, New York, cities have long been his passion. He is currently pursuing a concentration in Urban Studies, focusing on the politics of sustainable urban planning and policy, as well as related fields, including architecture, geography, and tenants rights activism. He chose Gallatin because of the academic freedom it offers students and the fact that the School allows students to forge their own intellectual paths.
In courses like Rebecca Amato’s “(Dis)placed Urban Histories” and David Parsons’s “Suburban Nation,” Jonathan examined interdisciplinary examples of the way people’s lives are shaped by the built environment as well as and how democratic representation and citizen participation can create more just towns and cities. Jonathan is interested in the equitable implementation of urban amenities like parks and public transportation. Through a Gallatin Global Fellowship in Urban Practice, Jonathan spent the summer of 2017 in Chicago, Illinois, researching the effect of gentrification on public schools around the Humboldt Park community. A member of the student advisory board of Gallatin’s Urban Democracy Lab, he plans to pursue a career in city government, with the aim of preserving the socioeconomic and cultural diversity of cities, making sure they remain hospitable to more than just the wealthiest few.
Gallatin has been such an accommodating educational institution for me—believing in me when I wanted to take academic risks and providing opportunities for fellowships, clubs, and mentorship. —Jonathan Marty