The Impact of UrbanPlan


UrbanPlan is a realistic, engaging, and academically demanding classroom-based curriculum in which students learn about the fundamental forces that affect development in the United States. Students experience the challenging issues, private and public sector roles, complex trade-offs, and fundamental economics in play when proposing realistic land use solutions to vexing growth challenges.

Below, read what ULI members, university professors and high school teachers say about UrbanPlan:

ULI Members on UrbanPlan

Like Advisory Service Panels, UrbanPlan does what ULI does best: help external audiences understand how the market and non-market forces in their community effect what can be approved, financed, built, and sustainably tenanted. That insight is essential for any meaningful discussion about land use.”

Bryan Thornton; Partner, Pacific Coast Capital; San Francisco, CA

“Every City & Regional Planning student should take UrbanPlan. Understanding markets and risk make planners better communicators with developer partners. Understanding social and political influences help developers manage risk more effectively. UrbanPlan could transform the public/private dialogue. “

Mark Rhoades, AICP; past Planning Manager, City of Berkeley; Partner, Citycentric Investments, Oakland, CA

UrbanPlan volunteer training can stand on its own as a professional development class. It takes you back to the fundamentals of your business.. I get more out of it every time. It makes me a more effective developer.”

John D. Porter, III; Vice-chair, MFCBlue; Sr. VP, Charter Properties, Charlotte, NC

Until you’ve done UrbanPlan, you can’t grasp the power of the program. It embodies the essence of an Advisory Services. We senior level development professionals must step-up as volunteers. The time commitment is minor; the impact is powerful – immediately and long term.”

John Walsh, President & CEO, TIG Real Estate Services, Dallas, TX

I have worked on many ULI programs and initiatives. UrbanPlan is in a class by itself: advancing ULI’s mission and brand while enriching students, the broader community and ULI members alike. You’ll find it hard to believe the sophistication of UrbanPlan until you’ve done it.”

Wayne S. Hyatt; CDCBlue; ULI Trustee; ULIF Governor; Chairman, Hyatt & Stubblefield, Atlanta, GA

High School Teachers on UrbanPlan

“This is a turnkey curriculum that really works. It’s a great fit for my kids because they live in a city. They uniformly express how realistic they feel it is. 2015 will be my ninth year doing UrbanPlan, and I can’t get over—even years later—the masterpiece of a creation that it is. It has stood the test of time.”

Wendy Holm, Economics Master, The Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

“Developing student capacities for critical thinking and dispassionate analysis of complex issues makes them more effective, informed and demagogue-proof participants in civil society – whether they are addressing UrbanPlan’s land use challenges or health care or immigration issues. UrbanPlan is the most powerful and engaging vehicle I have found to accomplish this objective.”

Shannon Corcoran, Economics Teacher, Desert Vista HS, Phoenix, AZ

Our seniors are required to take a government class and an economics class. They may ace the standardized tests on each subject, but the core concepts often stay in ‘Econ class’ and ‘Government class’ silos. It’s UrbanPlan that makes them understand why these concepts matter, how they manifest in the world around them and how they clash and collaborate to create the built environment.

Steve Teel, AP Government Teacher & Doug Powers, AP Economics Teacher, Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA

Professors on UrbanPlan

UrbanPlan distills and transmits the essence of the development process more effectively, more comprehensively, in less time, with more lasting results than any other program suitable for a classroom environment.”

David Green; Associate Principal, Perkins & Will; former Professor of Urban Design, Georgia Tech, London, UK

“UrbanPlan helped my students internalize the complex, interrelated, economic, and political aspects of public/private development…. The UrbanPlan “roles” forced students to experience the impact of each development decision and tradeoff through the lens of a particular stakeholder: developer, politician, neighborhood group. That will have a positive impact on the communities where they will work.

Hilary Nixon, PhD. Ass. Professor, Urban & Regional Planning, San Jose State University

Urban Plan poses a complex development problem that drives students to propose remarkably sophisticated solutions within a short, focused module of a course. It engages my students as no other exercise I have ever used.”

Susanne Ethridge Cannon, Director, The Real Estate Center & Professor of Finance, DePaul University, Chicago, IL


4 comments on “The Impact of UrbanPlan

  1. My name is Mario Charles. I’m a doctoral student in St. Lous,MO. I work in the Ferguson area and I think this curriculum would be tremendously useful for a program we are putting together for the youth of Ferguson. I would like to learn more in exploring the possibility of integrating this curriculum in our community.

    • Hi, Mario! Thanks for your interest in UrbanPlan. I’m going to put you in touch with Sophie Lambert (, who can answer all of your questions.

  2. I would like to learn more about your high school urban land institute courses. I teach at a local high school in Orlando and have been a real estate broker too. I would love to implement and pitch your program to administration. How can I learn more?


    Lisa Camacho Szeto

    • Hi, Lisa! Thanks for your interest in UrbanPlan. I’m going to put you in touch with Sophie Lambert (, who can answer all of your questions.

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