Course Subject
Course Number
Course Credit

Urban Plan Practicum

Course Description

This experiential course is designed to examine the nexus between real estate development and urban planning. Building on a case study designed by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), students are placed on teams of 4-5 students and assume the following roles on a private development team: finance director, marketing director, city liaison, neighborhood liaison, and site planner. Student development teams respond to an RFP to redevelop a 5 ½ block site from a hypothetical city with unique combinations of residential, office, commercial, and community facility uses. Through the process, they discover the dynamic fundamental challenges of development: how the forces of our market economy clash and collaborate with the forces of our representative democracy to create the built environment. In their respective roles, students develop an understanding of the various market and non-market forces and stakeholders at play in the development process. They must reconcile competing agendas and interests to come to a consensus to create a well-designed, market responsive,and sustainable project. Teams address challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues; develop a pro forma and three-dimensional model of their plan; negotiate competing interests among themselves wearing their respective hats; and present and defend their proposal to a “city council” of ULI professional facilitators that awards the development contract to the winning team.


CORE-GP 1018, CORE-GP 1021, URPL-GP 1603. MPA students who have not taken URPL-GP 1603 may enroll with permission of the instructor.

Course by Topic