Where? Available in Hong Kong
UrbanPlan for High Schools was developed to offer 15 class hours of curriculum for students in their junior and senior years in the US. In Europe and in Asia Pacific, UrbanPlan for schools is run as a six-hour full day workshop, with an 80 minute pre-workshop lesson delivered by class teachers.
Students form development teams to respond to a “request for proposals” for the redevelopment of a blighted site in a fictional community. Each team member assumes one of five roles: Finance Director, Head of Sales & Marketing, Head of Partnerships, Head of Planning and Director of Sustainability & Public Health.
Through these roles, students develop a visceral understanding of how various market forces (supply and demand, availability of capital, risk vs reward, etc.) clash and collaborate with non-market forces (regulation, politics, advocacy groups, etc.) to create the built environment. They must reconcile the often-competing agendas to create a well-designed, market-responsive, financeable, and buildable project.
UrbanPlan can be integrated into economics, humanities, geography, environmental studies and government courses.
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” (Finance Director, Head of Sales & Marketing, Head of Planning, Head of Partnerships, Director of Sustainability & Public Health). Through thoughtful questioning, Facilitators help students relate their team vision to the decisions they make while developing their schemes.
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.