As a graduate student in the Urban Studies program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Joshua Larson serves as an Article Editor for e.polis – the university’s online student journal. While pursuing his B.S. in sociology and fine art at Carroll University, he spent a year backpacking through Europe as he studied architectural history, Italian literature, sculpture and painting at the Florence University of the Arts. His aspiration to pursue architecture, combined with his experience with various nonprofits and insistence in social change and environmental conservation redirected his focus towards the inner workings of the city. His concerns center primarily on sustainable community development – the transformation of blighted neighborhoods through Creative Placemaking, grassroots activism, and the organic growth of arts districts. He believes that grassroots activism is essential to transform afflicted areas of the city by promoting community solidarity and increasing social capital, thereby reducing crime and regenerating a neighborhood’s cultural identity.