At the Brookings Institution, Thomas Lindman ’12 found a way to bridge the gap between his applied math and geography majors, working with their Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, D.C.
At the Brookings Institution, Thomas Lindman ’12 (East Lansing, Michigan) found a way to bridge the gap between his applied math and geography majors, working with their Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, D.C. This program looks at economic development strategies for metro areas, putting special emphasis on the sustainability and equity of the proposed policies. Lindman found the internship on the Brookings website and felt that it fit his skills and interests perfectly.
Lindman’s first major project involved researching congestion pricing options for the D.C. metro area. Congestion pricing uses a system of tolls based on traffic congestion to encourage drivers to opt for alternative means of transportation. He put together a literature review of all available studies on congestion pricing, which is now used by Brookings and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governors as part of a larger study of options for reducing congestion in the city. His second major project consisted of compiling data sets for a study of “Walk-able Urban Places” (WUPs). These WUPs are high-density, pedestrian-oriented areas, which include residential spaces, cultural and civic institutions, and retailers. This allowed Lindman to put his Macalester-learned GIS skills to the test.
“Having never worked with data sets of that size, the project tested my GIS abilities but turned out very well.” In addition to large data sets, Lindman found working with real world data to be challenging. “Cobbling together assessed property values (collected differently by county) proved tough. Data sets used in class are typically gorgeous.”
Working at a think tank expanded Lindman’s idea of what he would like to do following graduation, while also confirming his interest in urban development issues. “The summer introduced me to the think tank world, which I did not know much about and now interests me nearly as much as non-profits and NGOs.”