Student and Alumni Spotlights

Christopher Riale, AICP, MCRP '05

Name: Christopher Riale, AICP, MCRP ’05

Job Title and Organization:

Associate, City Design Practice Manager, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Briefly describe your role.

I am an Associate with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and lead SOM’s City Design Practice for the East Coast studios. My work focuses on transformative projects that bring together good urban design and transportation infrastructure to create vibrant and sustainable urban environments. In addition to managing the City Design Practice, I serve as project manager for urban design and planning projects throughout the Northeast, including development master plans, overbuilds, transit-oriented development (TOD) plans, station area plans, and major transportation infrastructure projects. Central to my role is business development, marketing, and strategic planning for the practice, with a focus on urban design and planning projects in  the Northeast.

What is your advice for future Bloustein graduates as they enter the workforce?

I have three key pieces of advice:

  1. Seek career opportunities that allow you to gain a balanced expertise in physical planning / urban design and planning policy. this well-rounded knowledge throughout your career, but also make sure to have a specialty.
  2. Build a relevant and varied professional network that includes planners, policymakers, developers, artists, public sector professionals, and consultants.
  3. Develop a rich portfolio that clearly demonstrates your analytical, graphical, and creative capabilities – and documents your professional story.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Bloustein?

My favorite memories are my experiences in Bloustein’s urban design and transit-oriented development studios, strolling on George Street, eating at restaurants in Highland Park, and Bloustein commencement day!

How did Bloustein prepare you to succeed in your career?

The Bloustein School allowed me to define and refine my interests in urban design and transportation planning, and provided me important practical and academic knowledge needed to thrive in private consulting. This has enabled me to work on and influence high-profile and meaningful planning and urban design projects that will have a major impact on people and cities throughout the country. The Bloustein School provides a robust planning curriculum that prepares students for life as a professional, while also making sure to provide the academic foundation necessary to succeed in a highly intellectual and competitive field.