Staff Spotlight: Annie Dixon
Annie was raised in Evansville. During her time at DePauw University, Annie learned about urbanism and how it intersected with many other disciplines and her interests. Now in Indianapolis, Annie is a Special Projects Planner with the MPO. Here's some Q&A so you can get to know her better:
Where did you grow up? How would you describe it?
I grew up in Evansville, Indiana. Evansville was large enough to include multiple different cultural pockets of town but didn’t feel as bustling as Indianapolis.
I’ve always been interested in trying different sports. Soccer was my first love. I ended up playing golf my first year in college.
I have a full-blooded golden retriever that gets bossed around by my five-pound chihuahua, who runs the house. We call her the queen of the couch because she sits in the middle of the couch, and the rest of us have to fit around her.
Who is your favorite author, musician, actor or pro athlete? Why?
I love Barbara Kingsolver. Her books are beautifully crafted and blend both literary art with biology. I appreciate that her work is interdisciplinary.
Where is your favorite place to visit or vacation?
My family has been traveling to Seaside, Florida, since before I was born. I have many fond memories of flying kites on the beach and eating oysters.
When did you first realize that you were interested in planning?
During my undergraduate coursework at DePauw University, I started to learn about urbanism and how it relates to political science, climate change, human rights, capitalism, equity and more. I became interested in how our built environment influences our interactions with one another and our surroundings.
What do you think is the most underappreciated aspect of planning?
When implementing plans or engaging public opinion on the development of a plan, there are going to be downsides to every option, and planners are fully aware of these tradeoffs. I think we tend to expect planners to have a perfect solution and forget there are general as well as highly technical tradeoffs that planners have already considered prior to presenting anything.
What do you think is the most important recent trend in planning? Why?
Climate change resiliency infrastructure planning I personally believe is critical. The effects of climate change are changing everything we know about our current systems and will continue to affect us in predictable and unpredictable ways.
If you could wave a wand and magically improve one aspect of Central Indiana infrastructure, what would you do? Why?
I would increase the number of all types of housing units. We need more affordable housing, tiny homes, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and more. Housing is a basic need that everyone should be entitled to.