Dugan Murphy
Returning to the Maineland
By: Kimberly Scaff

Hailing from Portland, Maine, Dugan Murphy saw a need for improved development in his town. I wanted to have more involvement in the decisions they were making, as well as the decision making process. I learned that planners have a central role in that decision making process. So I pursued an education to get my self in that position. Murphy stated. Thus, Murphy moved to the city of Cincinnati to pursue a degree in urban planning from one of the most prestigious design schools in the world, The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Since moving to the innovative city of Cincinnati, Murphy has worked on several different projects, with goals of improving the neighborhoods of Cincinnati. Among the projects Murphy is currently working on, is the Madisonville Quality of Life Plan, partnering with the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation and LISC- Local Initiatives Support Corporation. For this project, Murphy is working with community leaders to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in Madisonville as a neighborhood. I will be sitting in on some of their meetings and coming up with recommendations and actions strategies for the future there. Murphy explains.

Aside from urban planning, Murphy is a contra dancer. It’s a form of folk dancing native to North America, Murphy stated. After pursuing this hobby for a few years, Murphy decided to try and take it one step further, by becoming a contra dance caller. In the last few months I’ve got into calling contra dances, actually telling the dancers what to do, teaching them the figures and calling them to the music. Murphy adds.

While finishing up his master’s degree, Murphy has been working at the Community Design Center, fulfilling several different projects involving urban planning in Cincinnati. After he graduates Murphy hopes to move back to his hometown, Portland, Maine, to pursue a career in urban planning. I’m more particular about my geography rather than my specialization, Murphy states. I’m flexible about the exact kind of work that I will be doing. I’d be a GIS monkey for a while, if it got me back to Maine. Murphy attests.