UrbanPlan Committee

Urban Plan is an exciting educational initiative of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) developed in partnership with the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley and a team of high school economics and government teachers. It has now implemented in 18 district councils and had 20,000 students go through the program.

Phillip Bankhead, ULI North Texas UrbanPlan Chair

UrbanPlan Committee

What is UrbanPlan?

UrbanPlan is a proven way to educate high school and college students in the dynamics of real estate ownership, development and planning. It is a realistic, engaging, and academically challenging classroom-based program in which students learn the roles, issues, trade-offs, and economics involved in urban development. It provides tomorrow’s future voters, neighbors, public officials, and land use professionals with a hands-on experience in developing realistic land use solutions to complex urban growth challenges.

UrbanPlan in the North Texas community

Since the North Texas district joined the UrbanPlan effort in 2005, it has facilitated the program in 60 classes involving over 1,400 students. UrbanPlan volunteers have two roles: 1) facilitate teams of students to redevelop a hypothetical blighted area via a public-private partnership and 2) serve on a mock city councils to judge presentations and select a winning team at the end of the session. All volunteers must first complete a daylong training session in which they learn the intricacies of the exercise and then how best to communicate their real life experience to the students in the classroom. Once the one time training is completed, the time demand on the volunteers is flexible and self scheduled as the program is run at multiple times and locations each semester.

This year ULI North Texas will be conducting UrbanPlan in Economics classes at the high schools of Plano Senior, The Colony and Flower Mound, as well as in the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington.

UrbanPlan is a unique way to get involved in a hands-on program of ULI, working closely with other real estate professionals while making a difference in our local community. As we expand into additional schools in North Texas our need for additional volunteers increase.

If you have an interest in getting involved, please contact Phillip Bankhead, ULI North Texas UrbanPlan Chair, at 972-788-3427 or pbankhead@northmarq.com.

For additional information on UrbanPlan, visit http://www.uli.org/programs/local-programs/urbanplan-for-high-schools-universities/