VCU honors Wilder School Graduate Joshua Son
Joshua Son, a Wilder School graduate with a master’s in urban and regional planning, was named by Virginia Commonwealth University as one of the university’s top 10 graduates of the previous decade.
The VCU Office of Alumni Relations’ 10 Under 10 awards celebrate alumni who earned their first VCU degree within the past 10 years and who have enjoyed remarkable professional success, made important contributions to their community and/or loyally supported the university.
Joshua Son knows the importance of vibrant public spaces and bringing energy to streets with vacant storefronts — as senior planner for the Richmond, Virginia, Department of Planning and Development Review, he serves as the secretary for the Urban Design Committee.
Son was raised with an appreciation for urban centers and local businesses; his mother owned her own business in a suburban strip mall, devoid of lively public spaces. This experience evolved into his passion for understanding how economic development, transportation and open space can affect public health and urban design.
Maintaining a strong VCU connection, Son served on the selection committee for the Wilder School’s Morton B. Gulak Lecture in Urban and Regional Planning for the past two years and has been a guest lecturer for urban planning and design topics from a local government perspective.
“VCU not only helped me form a strong academic foundation for my career path, but it also encouraged me to experience the real world firsthand, a critical component to education,” he says.
Son co-founded Breakway RVA, an organization that leads bike rides through city neighborhoods, with a mission to build a more bike-friendly community in 2015; was on the scholarship committee for Hostelling International Richmond from 2015-17; was a board member for the RVA Street Art Festival from 2016-18; and has been a member and co-chair of fundraising on the Art 180 Young Professionals Board since 2018.