Class of 2013 – HBA, USP
Find out more about USP student, Reiner Kravis, his passion for public transit and his pursuit of childhood wonder.
Hello, my name is Reiner Kravis. I am 21 years old and currently in my last year of studies at U of T. I am enrolled in two major programs, those being History and Urban Studies. I only joined the Urban Studies major in my third year, rather late to the program you could say. I discovered the program through an interest in cities that was cultivated in my second year. In winter semester that year I took two Geography courses, one on World Cities and the other on Economic Geography. These two courses really captivated me and made me search the schools’ departments for another program to enroll related to cities. Through this search I found the Urban Studies program. The summer after my second year I took three half credit courses to catch up in the program to be able to graduate in four years time. Apparently my plan has worked.
This semester I am enrolled in INI437 with Professor Brail. I really enjoy the class for its small size of 20 students and the great conversations and debates that are able to take place amongst people with similar interests and pursuits. In tandem with the class I am working as an intern with the Toronto Public Space Initiative. At the TPSI I work for the groups CEO and have represented them at public meetings, met city councillors and written policy pieces. The other Urban Studies course I am currently enrolled in is INI433 Creative Cities Practicum with Professor Stolarick. For the class I am writing a semester long report about Tel Aviv and its attempts to foster innovation and become more prosperous.
I grew up just outside of the city in Burlington and always viewed visiting Toronto as a big adventure as a kid. I think my younger selves excitement is a major reason why I enjoy studying cities today. I have a keen interest in the TTC and public transit, as well as the daily headlines and scandals coming out of city hall. As great as out transit system once was, the TTC clearly needs a massive overhaul today. I am excited about the Spadina Subway Extension as well as the new LRT lines coming in the next decade.
However Toronto needs more subways, thus I hope that the Downtown Relief Line begins construction as soon as possible. I have been fortunate enough to visit world cities like Berlin and New York and to ride on their transit systems. These cities seem eons ahead of Toronto in many regards when it comes to transit. While I think the TTC is finally on the right path with new leadership in the form of Andy Byford, there is clearly still a lot to be done and I hope to one day be a part of that solution.
While it’s sad that my time at U of T is almost up I am also excited about what my future holds. I have applied to graduate schools in London and the United States and have been accepted into the London School of Economics for Urban Planning Studies which truly is a great honor. I’m excited to study and explore a new city let alone country. But most of all I can’t wait to ride the tube!