UrbanPlan for Universities aims to develop land use professionals–developers, planners, architects, investors, and policymakers–who are more sophisticated and effective when they enter the workforce. UrbanPlan moves students from a theoretical and ideological understanding of their discipline to the practical realities and demands of the development team and process. In addition, the module is a challenging team-building exercise and introduction to ULI and key leaders in the industry.
In the 12-15 hour unit, students address challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues, develop a pro forma, and create a three-dimensional model of their plan. The module culminates when the teams present their proposal to a “City Council” of ULI members that awards the development contract to the winning team.
Who is UrbanPlan for?
In UrbanPlan for Universities, the primary target is graduate students whose focus is land use: city and regional planning, business, real estate, architecture, and law. It can be effective in carefully selected fourth-year undergraduate classes where the course ties into land use.
How UrbanPlan Works in the Classroom
Teams address challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues, develop a pro forma, and create a three-dimensional model of their plan. At strategic times during the project, land use professionals, who have attended a full day of UrbanPlan volunteer training, interact with the student teams. There are two facilitations where professionals visit the teams and challenge the students on their roles, their vision, and the decisions they have made using Socratic interaction. The module culminates when the teams present their proposal to a “City Council” of ULI members that awards the development contract to the winning team.
Through Socratic interaction, volunteers challenge the students to think more critically about the UrbanPlan issues and the specific responsibilities of their “role” (Financial Analyst, Marketing Director, Site Planner, City Liaison, Neighborhood Liaison).
UrbanPlan volunteers engage in interactive discussions with students on the member’s own project work. Through thoughtful questioning, the presenter helps students relate these issues and decisions to the struggles the students are experiencing in UrbanPlan.
UrbanPlan volunteers hear student presentations, challenge their proposals as would happen in an actual city council hearing, and award the development contract to the winning development team.
Read what Education Dive has to say about UrbanPlan here.