UrbanPlan for Universities

UrbanPlan for Universities aims to develop land use professionals–developers, planners, architects, investors, and policy makers–who are more sophisticated and effective when they enter the workforce. UrbanPlan moves students from a theoretical and ideological understanding of their discipline to the practical realities and demands of the development team and process. In addition, the module is a challenging team building exercise and introduction to ULI and key leaders in the industry.

In the 12-15 hour unit, students address challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues, develop a pro forma, and create a three-dimensional model of their plan. The module culminates when the teams present their proposal to a “City Council” of ULI members that awards the development contract to the winning team.

Professor FAQ

Who is UrbanPlan for?

In UrbanPlan for Universities, the primary target is graduate students whose focus is land use: city and regional planning, business, real estate, architecture, and law. It can be effective in carefully selected fourth-year undergraduate classes where the course ties into land use.

How UrbanPlan Works in the Classroom


At strategic times during the project, land use professionals who have been trained in the UrbanPlan curriculum, interact with the student teams. Through the Socratic method, these volunteers visit the teams and challenge the students to think more critically about the UrbanPlan issues and the specific responsibilities of their “roles” (Financial Analyst, Marketing Director, Site Planner, City Liaison, Neighborhood Liaison).


UrbanPlan volunteers engage in interactive discussions with students on the member’s own project work or specific professional challenges. Through thoughtful questioning, the presenter helps students relate these issues and decisions to struggles the students are experiencing in UrbanPlan.

City Council

UrbanPlan volunteers hear student presentations, challenge their proposals as would happen in an actual city council hearing, and award the development contract to the winning development team.





Director, The Real Estate Center, and Professor of Finance, DePaul University



“UrbanPlan poses a complex development problem that drives students to propose remarkably sophisticated solutions within a short, focused module of a course. It engages my students as no other exercise I have ever used.”


Associate Principal, Perkins + Will, and former Professor of Urban Design, Georgia Tech



“UrbanPlan distills and transmits the essence of the development process more effectively, more comprehensively, in less time, with more lasting results than any other program suitable for a classroom environment.”


Professor, Finance & Real Estate, and Director, Graduate Real Estate Programs, University of Texas



“University of Texas–Arlington is dedicated to offering an MBA real estate program that produces sophisticated, effective developers, investors, and lenders. UrbanPlan is a key component of that effort.”

Get Involved

If you are a professor interested in bringing UrbanPlan to your course, please contact us at  urbanplan@uli.org

Are you a ULI member and have interest in serving as a volunteer?

Get Involved

Get Involved


Get Involved

Schools, teachers, and students – contact us at urbanplan@uli.org.

Are you a ULI member and have interest in serving as a volunteer?

Get Involved

UrbanPlan at Old Dominion University

See how ULI is preparing the next generation of business leaders at ODU