Following the successes of the programme in the US and UK, ULI will launch its UrbanPlan educational initiative in schools in Ireland in the autumn of 2016. UrbanPlan teaches young people about the urban environment through a series of interactive workshops and team work challenges. Since its inception in the U.S. over ten years ago, it has reached more than 27,000 students.
UrbanPlan delivers targeted, one-day workshops for 16 to 18-year-olds studying geography and business studies. The workshops aim to bring the built environment to life by challenging students to plan the regeneration of a blighted site in a hypothetical town. The main objectives of the programme are to create more informed citizens who better understand the communities in which they live; to enrich the curriculum; to develop links between schools and industry; and to encourage young people from diverse social and economic backgrounds to consider careers in the built environment.
The programme has been designed to be delivered free of charge to schools, to fit within the curriculum and class timetables, and to minimise impact on teachers’ workloads. It will use multimedia resources including a teachers’ toolkit, planning resources, and 3D models, as well as briefing films and software packages. The workshops will be run by professional educators and supported by industry volunteers who help guide the students through the redevelopment process.
Funding for UrbanPlan in Ireland has been generously provided by Arup, who are working alongside ULI on the delivery of the programme.
“UrbanPlan gives students from all walks of life a unique insight into the pressures and processes through which communities evolve,” said Brian Moran, Chair of ULI Ireland. “This programme will increase their awareness of the complexities of urban regeneration and help the students become better citizens. Some may even be inspired to consider future careers in the industry. In addition, it will offer volunteers a chance to share their expertise and to promote the role of the property industry in the transformation of urban areas.”
ULI plans to deliver UrbanPlan in five schools in Ireland as an initial pilot in Dublin and Cork and is seeking volunteers from a range of disciplines including surveyors, planners, developers, lawyers, accountants and architects. Volunteers will be invited to support the delivery of the workshop alongside the professional facilitators. To register interest to volunteer or for more information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.