UrbanPlan is an educational program that focuses on urban redevelopment. Students form “company teams” to respond to a Request for Proposals for the redevelopment of a specific urban area. Their goal is to be awarded the contract from the authorizing community. It is a realistic, engaging and academically challenging classroom curriculum in which high school seniors learn the roles, issues, economics and tradeoffs involved in urban development.
The students are responsible for preparing a business proposal with documentation and visual aids to support their decisions. UrbanPlan is a classic problem-based learning model in which students and teachers confront a dilemma in a particular discipline that allows for more than one solution and teaches students the problem-solving skills required for a fulfilling career.
With the leadership of teacher Steve Bekemeyer, ULI Minnesota has conducted UrbanPlan at Roseville Area High School with 30 students each year, since 2006. In 2016, the program expanded to include 60 students from Saint Paul Central High School each year, and in 2019 the program launched at at Mounds View High School to reach 100 additional high school students each school year!
Check out the ULI Americas UrbanPlan website
UrbanPlan’s mission is to create a sophisticated level of discourse among local stakeholders involved in land use decisions through the education of tomorrow’s voters, neighbors, community leaders, public officials, and land use professionals so—together—we can create better communities.
What Is UrbanPlan?
UrbanPlan is a realistic, engaging exercise in which participants—high school students, university students, or public officials—learn the fundamental forces that affect development in our communities. Participants experience 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.
Get Involved With UrbanPlan in Minnesota
ULI Minnesota members can volunteer as facilitators or city council reviewers in a classroom-based, web-supported program in which high school students learn the roles, issues, trade-offs, and economics relative to urban development.
Please email Rachel Keenan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming a trained UrbanPlan volunteer!
Upcoming UrbanPlan Opportunities:
UrbanPlan with Mounds View High School (100+ Students)
May 20 – June 3, 2022 – using new curriculum. Existing volunteers must complete a 2hr on-demand, self-led course to learn the new curriculum.
City Council Reviewer:
If you are a trained UrbanPlan volunteer and would like to sign up for our upcoming opportunities, please email Rachel Keenan at email@example.com to request the link to sign up for a volunteer slot!
Our UrbanPlan Minnesota chair:
UrbanPlan Minnesota is sponsored by:
UrbanPlan by the Numbers
|School or Community||Trained Teachers||Students|
|St. Paul Central (since 2016)||2||305|
|Roseville Area High School (since 2006)||1||733|
|School of Environmental Studies(since 2017)||5||265|
|Mounds View High School (since 2019)||2||190|
|City of Edina, Public Officials Workshop (2017)||55|
|City of Rosemount, Public Officials Workshop (2021)||22|
|City of Rosemount, Public Officials Workshop (April 2022)||20|
|Total: 4 Schools & 3 Public Officials Workshops||10||1,590|
ULI Annual Fund: Through Education, We Can Create Better Communities
Roseville Teacher Receives UrbanPlan Award
Steve Bekemeyer was awarded the Minnesota City County Management Association Teacher Achievement Award for his work in fostering an interest in local government through UrbanPlan. For the past several years, MCMA has extended an annual “Teacher’s Achievement Award” to a secondary educator who has demonstrated creativity and commitment in teaching his or her students about local government and active citizenship. The winner is selected by a committee of MCMA members, and public presentation of the award takes place at the annual meeting of the League of Minnesota Cities.
What Students Say About UrbanPlan
I came into this class expecting nothing more than a ton of worksheets and a small short speech at the end. I was wrong. UrbanPlan is a well put together process to work as a team and develop a wonderful project. This was the greatest experience of my high school career. — Wade Piche
UrbanPlan is a well designed project that is great preparation for other kinds of presentations and proposals in college and in the business world. The financial program could be improved if there were options for specific types of neighborhood retail that would affect the town financially. — Ian Gunsolus
This project has influenced my decision on future professions and college education. With the skills I have gained through UrbanPlan, I can envision myself becoming very successful in the business field. Again, thank you for this rewarding opportunity and I hope you continue to expand this program in the future. — Katie Cooney