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UrbanPlan

UrbanPlan is a simulation classroom exercise in which students work in development teams to analyze and respond to a hypothetical "Request for Proposal" for the redevelopment of a blighted urban area. 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.

UrbanPlan

Background

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)
• Washington-Lee High School (Arlington, VA)
• 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 half-day training session, where they are assigned roles in the development team and engage in a “lightning-round” version of the exercise. Once training is complete, ULI staff will be in touch with volunteers at various points throughout the year with volunteer opportunities, which range from 1-3 hours.  There is no minimum or maximum requirement for volunteers to serve throughout the year.  Volunteering with Urban Plan is a great  great way to interact with students, share your subject matter expertise, and connect with fellow ULI members.

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.

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Paul Angelone

ULI Washington

Manager

paul.angelone@uli.org

240.497.0557

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Learn More at www.UrbanPlan.org

UrbanPlan Chair

Dan.Anderton

Dan Anderton

Dewberry

UrbanPlan Chair

danderton@Dewberry.com

(301)337-2852

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