Student development teams respond to an “RFP” (request for proposals) for the redevelopment of a blighted site in a hypothetical community. Each team member assumes one of five roles: finance director, marketing director, city liaison, neighborhood liaison, or site planner. Through these roles, students develop a visceral understanding of the various market and nonmarket forces and stakeholders in the development process. They must reconcile the often-competing agendas to create a well-designed, market- responsive, and sustainable project.
Teams address challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues; develop a pro forma and three-dimensional model of their plan; and present their proposal to a “city council” of ULI members that awards the development contract to the winning team.
The Mission of UrbanPlan is to create a more sophisticated level of discourse among local stakeholders involved in land use decisions through the education of tomorrow’s voters, neighbors, community leaders, public officials, and land use professionals so, together, we can create better communities.
At three points during the program, local land use professionals assist UrbanPlan (UP) by acting as:
“Facilitators”: Through Socratic interaction, volunteers challenge the students to think more critically about the UrbanPlan issues and the specific responsibilities of their “roles” (financial analyst, marketing director, site planner, city liaison, and neighborhood liaison).
“Guest Speakers”: UP volunteers engage in interactive discussions with students about their own work projects or specific professional challenges. Through thoughtful questioning, the presenter helps students relate these issues and decisions to struggles the students are experiencing in UrbanPlan.
“City Council”: UP volunteers hear student presentations, challenge the students proposals as would happen in an actual city council hearing, and award the development contract to the winning development team.
To launch UrbanPlan in Canada, the ULI Alberta district council has partnered with the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary. The Westman Centre is arranging for volunteer training on November 28, 2016, from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm (location in downtown Calgary to be finalized by November 14).
Prior to the training session, you will receive the UrbanPlan manual to review, which may take a couple of hours. The training session itself will be 8 hours (with a break). Finally, you will come into the classroom once to engage with students for 2 or 3 hours between January and April 2017. Your total time commitment is about 12 to 15 hours between November 28th, 2016 and April 30th, 2017.
Please send an email with your name, contact information and a short paragraph on why you would be a great Urban Plan Ambassador by November 11, 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about UrbanPlan, please visit the official ULI website!