ULI Ireland: UrbanPlan Helps Students of Today Plan the Towns of Tomorrow

DUBLIN (27 April 2017) –  Secondary schools from across Ireland are being called on to avail of a free one-day workshop in urban planning by industry experts as part of the Urban Land Institute’s UrbanPlan programme.

The unique programme, in its second year, targets 16 and 17 year olds from ten schools selected to take part in a one-day interactive workshop in each school. With the support of industry volunteers, student teams will be presented with an urban regeneration challenge to help them understand the planning and development process for buildings, towns and parks.

The workshops bring the built environment to life by challenging students to plan the regeneration of a blighted site in a hypothetical town. At the end of the programme, students present their development proposals to a team of expert volunteers, who choose a winner in each school.

Over the course of last year’s programme, Urban Land Institute (ULI) members drawn from many different disciplines volunteered their time for UrbanPlan workshops in schools in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The programme is generously sponsored by engineering firm Arup with industry volunteers from Arup as well as other ULI member companies including surveyors, planners, developers, lawyers, accountants and architects.

Speaking at the launch of UrbanPlan 2017 in Cherrywood, Co. Dublin, John Bruder, Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, said:

“Following the success of last year we’re delighted to invite secondary schools to apply for UrbanPlan 2017. UrbanPlan is about creating more informed citizens who better understand the communities in which they live and how they come to be.”

“We want to encourage young people from diverse social and economic backgrounds, both girls and boys, to consider careers in the many disciplines which contribute to the development of vibrant, sustainable urban communities. We’re particularly keen to see girls participate so that they might get a better understanding of some disciplines which traditionally have attracted more men than women.”

“UrbanPlan can help enrich the school curriculum, particularly for Transition Year students who are starting to think about their future careers. Some participants of this year’s programme may be inspired to consider future careers in urban planning and design. The students of today will be the planners, builders and architects of the future.”

Breandán Mac Róibín, teacher in Coláiste Eoin, whose class took part in last year’s programme, described UrbanPlan as one of the best events in his 18 years of teaching:

“It’s a really wonderful and enlightening experience, and the feedback from the students has been extremely positive.”

Principals, teachers and students are encouraged to sign up to have their school take part in this year’s programme. Schools can register interest or get more information on UrbanPlan 2017 by emailing andrew.kinsella@uli.org.


About UrbanPlan
The UrbanPlan 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.

Since its inception in the U.S. over ten years ago, UrbanPlan has reached more than 27,000 students worldwide. Over time, the programme has been adapted to fit in various schools and universities, while still maintaining the integrity of the initial intent of the program to not only teach about the complex process of community development but also to introduce students to the various career fields in the land use industry.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has almost 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, please visit europe.uli.org, follow us on Twitter, or join our LinkedIn group.