Conceived by ULI in conjunction with UC-Berkeley, UrbanPlan has reached over 20,000 high school and university students across the country since 2003. UrbanPlan is designed to challenge students in the areas of public speaking, communications, team dynamics, creativity, decision-making and community values. It exposes students to issues related to government, economics, finance, environmental sciences, sociology and geography. To learn more about UrbanPlan, watch this short video about UrbanPlan created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
How does it work?
Through UrbanPlan’s 15-hour classroom curriculum, students learn the essence of development: how the forces of our market economy clash and collaborate with the non-market forces of our representative democracy to create the built environment – providing the foundation required for any informed land use discussion. Over the course of the exercise, ULI members who are local land use professionals interact with the students on a regular basis. As “facilitators” in the classroom, they challenge the students to think more critically about the UrbanPlan issues and the specific responsibilities of the students assigned roles as finance directors, marketing directors, city liaisons, neighborhood liaisons, and site planners. ULI members also serve on a “City Council” to judge the teams’ proposals.
UrbanPlan in Our Region
Around 400 students in the Washington region take part in the program each year (with almost 2,500 high school, college, and graduate students in the DC metro region having participated so far). Currently, ULI Washington works with teachers in the following schools to implement UrbanPlan:
• Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (Bethesda, MD)
• Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (Rockville, MD)
• Robinson Secondary (Fairfax, VA)
• Washington-Lee High School (Arlington, VA)
• University of Maryland at College Park
• Catholic University of America
• American University, Kogod School of Business
How do I get involved?
ULI Members: UrbanPlan thrives due to the generosity and commitment of ULI Washington’s members and sponsors. In order to serve as a classroom volunteer, members must first participate in a full-day training session, where they are assigned roles in the development team and engage in a “lightning-round” version of the exercise. Trainings are typically offered twice per year. To find out when the next training will take place, contact Alia Anderson, ULI Washington Director of Community Outreach by email or at 240-497-1919, ext. 103.
Thanks to the contributions of ULI Sponsors, we are able to provide all UrbanPlan materials and training free of charge to our teachers, students, and volunteers. Click here (link to sponsorship page) to learn about sponsorship opportunities.
Teachers: UrbanPlan is most often taught in economics and government classes and can be adapted to suit high-school juniors and seniors as well as college and Master’s level students. To explore whether UrbanPlan might work in your classroom, read this Educators Fact Sheet. For more information, contact Alia Anderson, ULI Washington Director of Community Outreach by email or at 240-497-1919, ext. 103.
Director of Community Outreach
Learn More at www.UrbanPlan.org