Student Profile: Anika Murasaki Richter MUP ’23

Embracing opportunities in pursuit of equitable and sustainable cities

headshot of student Anika Murasaki Richter MUP ’23
Anika Murasaki Richter MUP ’23 enrolled in the GSD passionate about environmental justice and planning for equitable, just, and accessible cities. Growing up in the city of Baltimore as the daughter of Japanese and Colombian immigrants, she experienced how cities, spaces, and environments shape disparate life outcomes—and saw opportunities to improve the world. The GSD Fund provided Anika with need-based financial aid that enabled her to build upon her desire to “design and create space for cities that facilitate connection, healing, and high quality of life while rectifying injustices” as a student in the Master of Urban Planning program.

Anika is committed to tackling issues of sustainability and climate as urgent, global concerns. Furthering her dedication to interdisciplinary strategies to mitigate the climate crisis, Anika served on the Climate Leaders Program leadership team and the Harvard Urban Planning Organization board. She also lent her perspective as a blogger for the Journal of the American Planning Association and as a research assistant for the Urban Planning Program’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee.

Embracing opportunities to collaborate with students across the university, Anika pursued practical, real-world solutions through an internship at the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability. Created in 2022, the Salata Institute is a fulcrum for collaboration across Harvard’s many areas of expertise. In her role, she contributed to their mission to develop and promote durable, effective, and equitable solutions to humanity’s climate change challenges while adding a planner’s valuable perspective to the conversation.

The GSD has, above all else, given me a community and network of deeply caring people who are passionate about improving the world. I entered the GSD with no hard design skills, and being at the GSD has allowed me to learn from peers and faculty about the tools to visually communicate and think with a design lens.

Anika Murasaki Richter MUP ’23

Post-graduation, Anika is utilizing her GSD education and experiences, with its limitless applications, to make a difference for our environment. Thanks to the support of donors, Anika benefits from the freedom to discover and deepen her research interests—and in turn, her work will improve opportunities for future generations.


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