ULI Hawaii News

Land Use professionals go into the classroom

New professional training

During the week of August 20, over 20 land use professionals from Honolulu learned how to use their background and expertise to expose high school students to the political complexities, the financial requirements, and the market forces that affect development – our built environment.

UrbanPlan is an exciting educational initiative of the ULI developed in partnership with the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics (FCREUE) at  the University of California at Berkeley and a team of high school economics teachers. The purpose of the program is to help our citizenry better understand land use issues in their communities, land use issues that are getting increasingly complex.

In Hawaii, the 15 hour course is taught in economic classes at Kalani

UrbanPlan’s computer model helps students make trade offs between such products as affordable housing, luxury condos, big box stores and local retail.

High School and Maryknoll High School to seniors. Students learn economic and government principles using the case study as a vehicle. The students form teams and each team has to respond to a city rfp to redevelop a run-down neighborhood. About mid-way through the course, land use professionals from the community go into the classroom to challenge the students’ redevelopment plan.

Land use professionals try their hand at creating a solution to the UrbanPlan case study. It is invariably more challenging than they think it will be at the start.

Is the redevelopment plan making enough money to attract investors and repay construction loans? Is it meeting the demands of the marketing study? Are neighborhood groups opposing the plan? If so, how will you respond to them? These are some of the questions that the professionals will ask the students to challenge them to think more critically about the solution to the case study.

The professionals are amazed by how close the case study is to the real life work they do everyday in Hawaii.

If you would like to learn more about this program, please see:

ULI UrbanPlan Page

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