What is UrbanPlan?
UrbanPlan is a realistic, engaging exercise in which participants – high school students, university students, community leaders or public officials—learn about the fundamental forces that affect real estate development in our communities. Participants experience the challenging issues, private and public sector roles, complex trade-offs, and fundamental economics in play when proposing realistic land use solutions to vexing growth challenges.
Why UrbanPlan? Closing the Knowledge Gap
The United States will add 60 million people in the next 20 years. As our population grows, our citizens are asked to make increasingly difficult land use policy decisions. Where and how will we, our children and future generations live, work, shop and travel from place to place?
Our answers to these questions will determine how we accommodate growth on our limited land resources without sacrificing the livability of our neighborhoods or violating our sense of community. Yet nothing in our education arms us with the language and skills to become problem-solving participants in this process that is so critical to our quality of life and the vitality of our democracy.
We don’t learn how the forces of our market economy interact with those of our representative democracy to create the built environment. We don’t experience the trade-offs that must happen in development and the multiple consequences of each trade-off.
If we are to effectively address the challenge of our growing population and improve our communities as they grow, we must elevate the sophistication of the discourse at the local level. That is why ULI members across the country support UrbanPlan in their local schools, providing tomorrow’s voters, neighbors, community leaders, public officials, and land use professionals with the insights and language to become engaged and informed problem-solvers.