Fulbright Award Will Allow UofM Student to Study Water Management in Italy

April 8. 2019 - Aubrey Toldi, a graduate assistant in the University of Memphis Department of City and Regional Planning, has received a Fulbright award to Italy for research in water management that could benefit the Memphis community.

The nine-month award provides Toldi the opportunity and funding to conduct research in the Simeto River Valley of Sicily, working with partners from the City and Regional Planning department's summer study abroad exchange program. She will be learning about community-led approaches to and mobilization around water management that could be beneficial to Memphis. Her project is "(New) Memphis Blues: A Holistic, Community-Led Reconnection to Our River and Blue Spaces."

Through a qualitative study of the Simeto River Agreement in Sicily, Toldi plans to build a best-practice framework for what a successful, community-led coalition could look like in Memphis, implementing proactive measures that address water management and cultivate both ecological and social benefits.

Toldi, who will earn her master's degree in City and Regional Planning in May, first participated in a research partnership with the Simeto River Agreement in 2018.

"As a soon-to-be graduate, I am beyond excited to continue to grow into a more dynamic and relational urban planner," Toldi said. "The Fulbright award will allow me to not only further my research in water and communities, but also continue to invest in and learn from a country and community (the Simeto Valley) that has helped shape me into the individual and academic I am today."