ULI’s UrbanPlan program is a realistic, engaging exercise in which participants—high school students, university students, or public officials—learn about the fundamental forces that affect real estate development in their communities. Participants experience the challenging issues, private- and public-sector roles, complex tradeoffs, and fundamental economics in play when proposing realistic land use solutions to vexing growth challenges.
Generously supported by member gifts to the ULI Foundation and offered through district councils and national councils, UrbanPlan has reached nearly 60,000 students and public officials globally. In the Americas, it is now offered by 32 district councils and affiliates—an increase of 47 percent from the previous year. In Europe, it is offered through national councils in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland; and in the Asia Pacific region, through national councils in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines, with further program expansions planned.
During the 2018–2019 academic year, nearly 5,000 high school and university students and over 700 public officials and community members participated in UrbanPlan in all three regions, benefiting from the expertise of more than 600 ULI member volunteers who introduced them to the land use decision-making process that determines how people experience cities.
An expansion of the program is underway, including a focus on broadening its availability in underserved communities. One example of this is the introduction of UrbanPlan by ULI St. Louis to high school districts in Ferguson, Missouri. The program has now reached more than 100 students enrolled in a variety of classes such as economics, marketing, and business technology.