UrbanPlan is a project-based learning curriculum unit for high schools. Bringing together disciplines such as economics, city government, real estate and urban planning, UrbanPlan engages students to consider the myriad of complex decisions that shape our built environment.


What is UrbanPlan?

UrbanPlan is a realistic, engaging, and academically demanding classroom-based curriculum in which students learn about the fundamental forces that affect development in Canada. 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.

The Mission

The Mission of UrbanPlan is to create a more sophisticated level of discourse among local stakeholders involved in land use decisions through education of tomorrow’s voters, neighbors, community leaders, public officials, and land use professionals so, together, we can create better communities.

Through UrbanPlan, students discover how the forces of our market economy clash and collaborate with the nonmarket forces of our representative democracy to create the built environment. This insight provides the essential foundation for any sophisticated land use discussion.

How it Works

Through UrbanPlan’s 15-hour classroom curriculum, students learn the essence of development: how the forces of our market economy clash and collaborate with the non-market forces of our representative democracy to create the built environment – providing the foundation required for any informed land use discussion. Over the course of the exercise, ULI member volunteers who are local land use professionals interact with the students on a regular basis. As “facilitators” in the classroom, they challenge the students to think more critically about the UrbanPlan issues and the specific responsibilities of the students assigned roles as finance directors, marketing directors, city liaisons, neighborhood liaisons, and site planners. At the end of the exercise, the ULI member volunteers serve on a mock “City Council” to judge the students’ proposals.

Get Involved!

Find out what it takes to be am Urban Plan Volunteer:

UrbanPlan Information Brochure

What Teachers say about UrbanPlan

“Urban Plan successfully mirrors the complexity of large-scale development projects in a format that is sophisticated, yet approachable for high school students. By participating in Urban Plan, students are given the opportunity to practice skills of research, analysis, collaboration and advocacy while gaining valuable perspectives on what makes a city sustainable. The economic, political, social and environmental considerations involved in this program challenge participants to satisfy a diverse range of stakeholders with competing demands.”

– Ed Ketchum, Forest Hill C.I., Toronto, ON