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ULI San Francisco is proud to announce Tamalpais High School’s Tam Dev team took home first place and Berkeley High School’s Quartz Development team took home second place in the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) first ever UrbanPlan National Student Competition. The competition involved 60 students comprising 12 teams from 10 high schools around the United States and Canada.
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. Generously supported by member gifts to the ULI Foundation and local District Council sponsors and offered through district councils and national councils, UrbanPlan has reached nearly 60,000 students and public officials globally.
The students were tasked with redeveloping six blocks in the fictional city of Elmwood. The student’s fictional companies must balance historical preservation, dereliction, and competing neighborhood priorities, along with financial constraints to meet the needs of the city. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RFP also mandates a specific focus on creating housing to meet the needs of mixed-income groups, preserving amenities, and creating skilled, professional and entry level employment opportunities, for neighborhood and city residents. Additionally, the city asks the students to create a town square that allows for social distancing, community programming and peaceful demonstrations.
Funding for this competition was generously provided through a donation to ULI’s Annual Fund from ULI Trustee Emeritus and ULI Foundation Governor Ron Nahas, partner, Rafanelli & Nahas LLP, Lafayette, California. “When UrbanPlan was created 20 years ago, no one could have imagined teams thousands of miles apart competing in real time,” said Nahas. “The new realities so abruptly forced on us by COVID-19 are driving the creative changes needed to bring the wonders of the UrbanPlan curriculum to any school anywhere throughout the world. I am excited to participate in this first National Competition and look forward to congratulating the teams for confronting the complex issues and frustrating compromises that govern the built environment.”
Schools participating in the 2020 UrbanPlan National Competition included: