Will LeimenstollWill Leimenstoll is a 2013-2014 Henry Luce Scholar originally from Greensboro, North Carolina and currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. He is spending his Luce year working with a Thai environmental NGO that does planning work with Thai towns and cities and encourages the growth of green transportation options and business practices.

Will grew up in a storefront building on the main street of downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. His historic preservation architect parents renovated the building themselves. This uniquely urban setting in otherwise sprawling Greensboro served as a living classroom that spawned Will’s early interest in cities, planning, and design. In the early 2000s Greensboro’s leaders began efforts to revitalize downtown Greensboro. Will, eager to get involved spent his awkward teenage years attending countless community meetings, forums, and vision-setting “charettes” as the sole representative of the under thirty age group. In high school he was able to turn this activism into membership on the Community Advisory Team charged with planning the redevelopment of a brownfield site just south of downtown.

In May of 2013 Will graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he majored in Environmental Studies and minored in City & Regional Planning. While learning about planning and sustainability issues in the classroom, he was actively engaged with these issues and others through his position as Student Body President. Representing 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students required that he take on many roles but one of his favorites was the opportunity to work on many town-gown planning issues in Chapel Hill.

After he finishes this year in Bangkok, Will hopes to travel a bit more before pursuing a Masters of City Planning degree at an as-yet undetermined school. When not working or studying, Will enjoys swimming, jogging, hanging out in well-designed public spaces, and eating Thai food.

Will can be reached at willleimenstoll@urbanistdispatch.com