Matteo Sandona

Matteo Sandona wearing safety clothing on siteMatteo Sandona has always been interested in design and he liked that a Bachelor of Planning at James Cook University (JCU) would allow him to work with a variety of disciplines to create better places for people to live.

“Planning is always interesting because you get to combine so many different things. You work with a wide array of disciplines and people including architects, engineers, and policy makers.” 

His course covers a range of subjects including Environmental Studies, Geography, Law and Management.

“We learn a lot about tropical urban design and James Cook University’s (JCU) location in the Tropics places it perfectly for that. Sustainability is a key component of the degree, with a real emphasis on sustainable development.”

The highlight of Matteo’s degree has been a study intensive in Singapore to learn about how design is used in Singapore’s urban planning.  

“Because Singapore’s climate is similar to North Queensland’s, we were able to take design cues from over there and learn about them so we can hopefully apply them here in the future. Singapore is so well planned because their limited space means planning is crucial. The whole trip was really interesting, it was an awesome experience.”

“I was also one of the JCU Planning students who had the opportunity to work with the Hinchinbrook Shire Council on the Ingham CBD Redevelopment which was a great experience.”

When he graduates, Matteo hopes to work somewhere in Queensland so he can apply the skills he learned at JCU.

“Northern Queensland is going to be a key growth area in the future, so it’s important we do have a master plan that will guide us in the right direction. With a Bachelor of Planning, you can work in either the public or the private sector. The public sector involves working for the government on development assessments and strategic plans or, in the private sector, you can work with developers to help guide them through the processes required to comply with legislation.”

Growing up in the Tropics, Matteo appreciates JCU’s unique position to offer tropical urban design and recommends it for others who want to learn more about creating livable towns and cities.

“If you’re interested in design and making better places for people in the future, definitely give planning a go.”