The future of our cities depends upon future generations of real estate leaders. One of the Institute’s signature programs, UrbanPlan, was created by ULI members who saw the need to provide education that influenced the way these future leaders understand responsible land use.
No other program matches UrbanPlan in reach or leadership; students, both private and public sector, gain hands-on skills and knowledge to intelligently and thoughtfully tackle land use challenges, taking into account the issues, stakeholder roles, tradeoffs, and economics involved. ULI Foundation Governor Ron Nahas was one of UrbanPlan’s cofounders, along with fellow Governors Doug Abbey and Steve Chamberlin.
Nahas, who also serves as a ULI/San Francisco UrbanPlan volunteer, has continued to be a champion and major supporter of the program throughout its duration. “There is nothing more enjoyable for me than spending time in the classroom with an engaged team of students working through the conflicting priorities we face every day as real estate professionals.”
According to Nahas, despite the success and value of the program, its growth has been constrained by an undersupply of resources. In 2017, he pledged a matching gift of $300,000 to expand the program, update and enrich the curriculum, expand the reach to public-sector officials, and build staff capacity for program delivery and assessment. “Our challenge today is to expand the program to more schools and public forums and be sure the support is in place to adapt and sustain it while zealously protecting the quality of the outcomes.”
ULI rose to this challenge. Nahas’s pledge, which was contingent upon matched funding from other Institute members and ULI Foundation support, has now been fulfilled. The program’s success and growth potential attracted support from additional donors and foundations, and this growth in investment ensures that UrbanPlan will reach an ever-increasing number of students and communities.