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UrbanPlan Program Aims to Inspire a More Diverse Generation of Planners

An Urban Land Institute program brings students into the discussion and gives them the tools to make a difference in the planning processes that define their communities.
August 12, 2019, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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By Paul Sableman

Chip Crawford, chair of the Urban Land Institute – St. Louis District Council, writes to promote the efforts of the ULI's UrbanPlan program, which, in the St. Louis region, teaches students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District about "how land use decisions impact their communities."

"Now approaching its third year, UrbanPlan has engaged more than 100 students in hands-on urban planning projects, empowering them to have a voice in how development takes place," explains Crawford.

"The UrbanPlan curriculum teaches students about the trade-offs, economics and other issues that shape realistic land use solutions to vexing urban growth challenges. More than 40 volunteers are trained to facilitate small group discussions among students as they work in teams to develop a responsible land-use project. The curriculum culminates in a presentation of a development proposal by each student team to a 'City Council' comprised of Urban Land Institute volunteers."

According to Crawford, the local UrbanPlan program grew out of a response to calls to action by the Ferguson Commission. Dr. Sarah L. Coffin, associate professor and urban plan and development program director at Saint Louis University, is quoted in the article crediting the program for "charting a much-needed pathway" for a more diverse generation of planners.

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Published on Monday, July 29, 2019 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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