UrbanPlan Newsletter: We Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Start!
ULI Nashville’s first UrbanPlan workshop affirmed the potential of ULI’s global initiative to affect profound change in the Nashville...
As land development professionals, we view the world through a lens of opportunity. Where others may see a burnt-out, abandoned building littered with trash and broken glass, we see the potential of a mixed-use complex that provides affordable housing and merchant space to serve a revitalized neighborhood. While some development professionals have an inherent understanding of land use potentials, all of us, at one point or another had to learn the foundational knowledge of development to effectively engage in the process. UrbanPlan provides relevant insight to the development process, creating a path for the next generation of industry professionals.
The UrbanPlan workshop is dynamic and anchored by a well-developed curriculum that requires participants to utilize critical thinking skills and work collectively while considering the lived environment of a community in ways unfamiliar to most people. Participating in the UrbanPlan exercise creates a new perspective for young people, making it possible to see the potential within their own communities. Perhaps more importantly, UrbanPlan provides the lens through which young people can see new possibilities within themselves. Students are introduced to the multitude of career options that exist in land development, and the different ways in which to impact not only their personal lives but their communities as well. Most notably, UrbanPlan gives young people the opportunity to directly interact with a variety of development professionals- often with those who share their background and culture. From my own personal experience, I can speak to the power of “representation.” Being able to see elements of one’s self reflected in the image of a successful person makes the idea of your own success easier realized. The beauty of the UrbanPlan workshop is that it often profoundly affects the lives of volunteers too. ULI members who volunteer for UrbanPlan consistently testify to the unexpected joy they’ve felt in sharing aspects of their careers with students, and how the experience of seeing their careers through the eyes of young people has reignited a passion for their profession.
The knowledge UrbanPlan provides greatly affects the lives of young people; its potential to help level the field of opportunity within the land development industry should not be understated. In UrbanPlan, ULI has created a phenomenal platform that supports our Mission Priority to educate the next generation of diverse development professionals. I’d like to give a personal thank you to the ULI Nashville members whose generosity and dedication to our mission has made Nashville’s first year of UrbanPlan a success, and I extend an invitation to all our members to join me in making UrbanPlan even more successful in 2023.
Edward Henley, lll