MSU inaugural Peter and Linda Riguardi Travel Fellows learned about built environment challenges in New York in August

In August, 12 SPDC students traveled to New York as part of their Peter and Linda Riguardi Travel Fellowship. This exciting new opportunity was made possible by a gift to Michigan State University by Peter and Linda Riguardi.

Peter Riguardi points out details to three SPDC students during a tour of Hudson Yards in New York City.
Peter Riguardi points out details to three SPDC students during a tour of Hudson Yards in New York City as part of the Peter and Linda Riguardi Travel Fellowship trip.

In August, 12 MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction students traveled to New York as part of their Peter and Linda Riguardi Travel Fellowship.

This exciting new opportunity was made possible by a gift to Michigan State University by Peter and Linda Riguardi. The fellowship enables SPDC students to gain firsthand knowledge of major urban planning development projects through site visits around the world.

During their trip, the fellows attended a five-day program where they visited two major sites: The Hudson Yards and The World Trade Center.

Peter Riguardi, chairman and president of JLL’s New York Tri-State Region, hosted a presentation on the development of New York City at his office at JLL. He then guided the group to Hudson Yards, where they visited one of the finished towers, and toured the Experience Lab that showcases the different residences virtually through different seasons. Both Dean Shapiro, vice president of Oxford/Hudson Yards, and Peter Riguardi discussed design, zoning and construction challenges that surrounded the development.

Then, the group visited One World Trade Center (WTC) where they attended presentations and were given guided tours by Alan Reiss, director of WTC; Carla Bonacci, assistant director WTC Infrastructure and Port Authority; Sydney Mainster, sustainability manager/Durst Organization; Eric Engelhardt, senior director of Commercial Leasing at WTC; and Karen Kuznick, director of Leasing at WTC. The students also learned about safety, security and interior fit-out regulations at the WTC.

Additionally, the group visited other sites guided by MSU alumni representing different programs within SPDC. These visits included:

  • Meeting with Urban & Regional Planning alumna Kayla Doshier who shared her insights and advice.
  • A walking tour around the High Line by Landscape Architect alumnus Joshua Seyfried from James Corner Fields Operation Office.
  • A construction site visit to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center by Construction Management alumnus Alec Sgro from Turner Construction.

In spite of the tight program, Assistant Professor Linda Nubani and Assistant Professor Zeenat Kotval-K from SPDC accompanied the students to major attractions in New York City, such as the Grand Central Station, the Wall Street District, Battery Park, Central Park and Time Square. 

The Peter & Linda Riguardi Fellowship Committee will be announcing the next round of fellowships in Spring 2018.

To learn more about the fellowship, please contact Linda Nubani at nubanili@msu.edu.  


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