The UrbanPlan Exchange provides an opportunity for participants to experience the many fundamental forces that shape development. This program is important to facilitate holistic approach to the growth occurring in Central Texas. Attendees participate in a simulation of the planning process involving teams that work together using LEGOS, a site plan and a spreadsheet to respond to a hypothetical RFP for a fictional urban neighborhood. Teams must decide how dense to build out a 5½ block area, whether to keep or move a homeless shelter, what type of retail is appropriate, and which neighborhood groups to keep happy – all while meeting the financial projections of the City and the Developer. The exercise concludes with teams presenting to a mock City Council that awards the project to the Development Team with the best proposal. Workshops are delivered either in-person (one 7-hr day) or virtually (split across two half-days).
Chair: Tricia Williamson, Jacobs
Staff Liaison: Cheryl McOsker
This YouTube video provides further insight into the program.
The UrbanPlan Exchange is offered to policy makers, public officials, municipal staff, and community stakeholders and leaders involved in shaping the communities in which we live, work and play. ULI Austin also offers the 7-hour training program to private sector companies as staff development on a fee-for-service basis. Workshops can be delivered either in-person (one 7-hr day) or virtually (split across two half-days). If you are interested in attending a workshop or contracting ULI to deliver training for your company, contact [email protected] or (512) 853-9803.
UrbanPlan volunteers must complete a one-day training session to experience the simulation exercise first-hand.
The volunteer training is not a long, boring day of lectures; but rather a fun, interactive competition with peers in an educational setting. During the training you will participate on a cross-functional team to prepare a response to the same hypothetical RFP used in the simulated exercise. You must be able to devote the full day and provide undivided attention (though there are breaks), as the exercise is dependent upon interactive team collaboration. After training, we ask that you commit to a minimum of two volunteer hours a few times throughout the year. ULI Austin is targeting to host 4-6 UrbanPlan Exchanges in 2022 and we need ULI member volunteers to realize this goal.