urbanplan
ULI IN ACTION-UrbanPlan

UrbanPlan

The Mission of UrbanPlan is to create a more civil and sophisticated dialogue about land use at the local level through the education of our future voters, neighbors, public officials, and land use professionals, so together, we can create better communities.

UrbanPlan Vice Chairs:
Lucas Perrettii
lperrettii@epssac.com
Tim Denham
tdenham@woodrodgers.com
Marq Truscott, FASLA
marq@quadriga-inc.com

UrbanPlan

What is UrbanPlan?

UrbanPlan teaches high school students how market forces clash with non-market forces to create the built environment.

The academically rigorous program was jointly developed by ULI and the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and is deployed by District Councils across the country.

The UrbanPlan curriculum asks student development teams to respond to an RFP for the redevelopment of a blighted site in a hypothetical community. Teams address challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues; develop a pro forma and three-dimensional model of their plan; and present their proposal to a “City Council” of ULI members that awards the development contract to the winning team.

Over the course of the program, volunteers will be asked to serve in one of the following capacities:

– “Facilitators” challenge the students to think more critically about the UrbanPlan issues and the specific responsibilities of their team “role”.
– “Presenters” engage in interactive discussion with students on their own project work and how it relates to issues and decisions the students are struggling with in UrbanPlan.
– “City Council Members” hear student presentations, engage and challenge their proposals as in an actual city council hearing, and award the development contract to the winning team.

How Does UrbanPlan Work in the Classroom?

Each team member assumes one of five roles: finance director, marketing director, city liaison, neighborhood liaison, or site planner. Through these roles, students develop a visceral understanding of the various stakeholders in the development process and the challenge of reconciling their often competing agendas to create a well designed, market responsive, and sustainable project.

Teams address challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues; develop a proforma and three-dimensional model of their plan; and present their proposal to a “City Council” of ULI members that awards the development contract to the winning team.

Over the course of the 15 class-hour project and prior to the presentations, land use professionals, who have attended UrbanPlan volunteer training, interact several times with the student teams.

As “Facilitators,” UP volunteers challenge the students to think more critically about the UrbanPlan issues and the specific responsibilities of their “role” (Finance, Market, Site Planner, City Liaison, or Neighborhood Liaison).

As “City Council,” UP volunteers hear student presentations, engage and challenge their proposals as in an actual City Council hearing, and award the development contract to the winning team.

In October 2010 the George Lucas Educational Foundation selected UrbanPlan as one of only 20 programs running in the United States, from kindergarten through 12th grade, for its “What Works in Education” series. You may view the George Lucas Education Foundation video on UrbanPlan here.