Franny McLarty is completing her final year as an Urban Planning and Sustainable Development major with a specialization in food systems at Western Washington University. Franny is inspired by cities as powerful spaces to embody stories of the past and the future, to make people feel alive, and to sustain collective human energy. She is especially interested in food as a tangible connector of human and ecological systems and as a representation of many life-sustaining and joyous processes from growing seeds, to knowing soil, to cooking. Valuing food as sustenance requires extensive community knowledge and multi-generational planning, both of which are practices that contribute to thriving and resilient communities. Additionally, food offers a valuable lens with which to examine the urban: it includes unwritten familial and communal histories, it reveals worlds of traditional expertise held by women, and food can offer unique explorations of race and class histories.

In her undergraduate education, Franny is concerned with examining conventional planning as an agent of oppression, addressing planning and place-making on Indigenous land, and embracing social-justice planning concepts. As a student and Division Fellow, Franny aims to begin a career in urban planning with an open mind and an eagerness to be a life-long learner. As a skateboarder, she enjoys exploring urban spaces and asking questions about who has been allowed to use certain spaces and why, and how we can use urban spaces creatively. She hopes to take these questions with her into the future, and to continue to see urban planning everywhere.