Student Stories

Lynn Coppedge

Working as a sustainability planner for the City of Lakewood, Colorado, Lynn Coppedge uses creative planning, programs, outreach, and events to make Lakewood a better place to live.

While she advances sustainability in Lakewood, Coppedge is also developing her own passion. And, she’s getting to do both just one year after finishing her degree at ASU.   

Coppedge studied in ASU’s accelerated Bachelor of Science (B.S.P.) and Master of Urban and Environmental Planning (M.U.E.P.) program, known familiarly as the 4+1 program in urban planning. Students in the program earn their bachelor’s and master’s in five years and complete applied work as part of their degree.

Coppedge discovered the 4+1 program while pursuing a double major in urban planning and sustainability and saw it as an opportunity to make quick strides in her chosen field of planning.

“The 4+1 is a great program for independent learners that are able to manage their time in order to achieve multiple goals in a short period of time,” said Coppedge.

Coppedge said from her first days at ASU she loved learning how sustainability principles applied to city policy and daily life in urban areas. When she decided to concentrate on community-based, long range planning with a focus on sustainability, Coppedge was drawn to the 4+1 program’s hands-on, intensive focus.

“This isn’t an exploratory degree program, but rather a focused and efficient choice for those who already know they want to enter the planning profession,” Coppedge says.  She cites several key experiences as she progressed through the program – the mentorship program that pairs planning students with professional planners, her internship, and the capstone project she completed in her last semester.

Coppedge said the exposure she gained to “live planning processes” in the 4+1 program provided her with valuable information that she took into her professional life.  

“My current position challenges me to find solutions to financial, political, and cultural barriers and applies a multitude of the principles that I studied at ASU, including public participation in planning, smart growth and technologies, multi-modal transportation systems, and community development,” said Coppedge.

Thanks to her ASU experience, Coppedge said she started her position in Lakewood ready for both the challenges and rewards that accompany a career in planning.