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This Aspiring Urban Planner Is Making Waves in Florida

Most 15-year-olds don’t spend their spare time studying walkability and public housing. Dylan Gentile is not most 15-year-olds.
Dylan Gentile, ROTC member and aspiring urban planner in DeFuniak Springs, Florida.
Dylan Gentile, ROTC member and aspiring urban planner in DeFuniak Springs, Florida.Dylan Gentile/Mark Byrnes

Most 15-year-olds, it is safe to say, don’t spend most of their spare time dreaming up urban planning projects, reading books about walkability, and watching documentaries about public housing. Dylan Gentile, however, is not most 15-year-olds.

“I’ve been interested in these things since I was born,” says Gentile, who got in touch with me on Twitter because he was interested in CityLab’s coverage of walkable cities and related issues. “I used to arrange my blocks by size and form.” Now, he’s dreaming of a future as an urban planner. Or maybe as a mayor. In the meantime, he’s trying to shake things up right where he is.