The mission of the UrbanPlan Program 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.
What is UrbanPlan?
UrbanPlan is a realistic, engaging, and academically challenging classroom-based, web-supported program in which high school students learn the roles, issues, trade-offs, and economics involved in urban development. It provides our future voters, neighbors, community leaders, public officials, and land use professionals with a hands-on experience in developing realistic land use solutions to vexing urban growth challenges.
UrbanPlan in the North Texas community
ULI North Texas joined the UrbanPlan effort in 2005 with training sessions led by UrbanPlan Project Director and Principal Writer Paula Blasier. Each training session is an intensive, daylong immersion into the various facets of UrbanPlan. Volunteers are required to work together in teams to redevelop a hypothetical blighted area. The teams then present their projects to Ms. Blasier, much in the way the students are required to present and defend their ideas before mock-councils comprised of UrbanPlan volunteers.
So far ULI North Texas volunteers have brought UrbanPlan to Highland Park and Fort Worth Pascal high schools, educating students and preparing them for the realities of land use planning, real estate development, civic involvement, and local government. UrbanPlan has been added as a major portion of the economics class curricula in these schools, and student participation and presentations are a significant part of the course grade.
This year we have set an aggressive goal of being in ten classrooms in four schools by the Spring semester. UrbanPlan is the best way for our local members to give back to our own community. UrbanPlan is a proven way to educate high school and college students in the intricacies of real estate ownership, development and planning. With ten facilitators already trained, our District Council leaders hope to add at least twenty more trained facilitators to the list to handle the growth of the program. If you have an interest in serving your community, being involved in the educational process or you are just looking for a plug in to the North Texas District Council, please contact ULI North Texas UrbanPlan chair Phillip Bankhead at PBankhead@NorthMarq.com 972-788-3427.
For additional information on UrbanPlan, visit urbanplan.org.