For the past two years, Native Land has been partnering with the ULI on a exciting educational initiative for state schools that promotes a better understanding of sustainable communities for young people from all walks of life.
Called UrbanPlan, it’s targeted at 15-18 year olds and brings to life urban environment for young people through a real life interactive workshop in which student teams form a development company tasked to create a scheme which regenerates a hypothetical urban site. It is based on the fundamental forces that affect land development and students have to grapple with a host of realistic issues including the design of a viable scheme alongside the provision of affordable housing, community facilities and employment opportunities.
It’s been running successfully in high schools in the US for over 15 years – reaching 43,000 high school and university students in the US and here in the UK since its launch in 2015 has been delivered to over 2500 students in over 100 state schools across the country. More than 400 property industry volunteers have participated too. The feedback from the workshops has been really positive too, with 100% of teachers and 95% of students rating them as excellent or good.
What’s great about the programme is that it does so much more than just help young people understand the role real estate plays to revive and regenerate urban areas. It also supports social mobility and the long-term success of the industry by reaching students from a diverse social and economic demographic and it develops valuable links between the industry and schools.
What we at Native Land have found particularly rewarding is how our staff have been able to get actively involved, volunteering in the local schools alongside the ULI team. And it doesn’t stop there – building those relationships means we can offer students site tours and work experience and talk about some of our developments so they have a better understanding of the built environment around them.
We have been so impressed with the programme, that we have just committed to support ULI for a further three years. In doing so we are helping ULI deliver UrbanPlan UK in more schools aiming to reach a minimum of 1,500 students every year.
This short film gives a great insight into the valuable programme and there’s more information on the UrbanPlan website www.urbanplanuk.uli.org