Central Academy students bring Business Studies and Geography to life with UrbanPlan workshop

On the 14th November, Year 10/11 students from Central Academy took the opportunity to expand their knowledge, enrich their classroom experience, and promote excellence by taking part in the Urban Land Institute’s educational initiative, the UrbanPlan UK workshop.

UrbanPlan UK is a one-day workshop designed for students studying Geography and Business Studies, which brings real estate to life in a way designed to be both relevant to the syllabus and compelling for young people.

The workshop focused on the redevelopment of a site in a hypothetical town. Students were grouped into teams, in which they formed fictional property companies and responded to a call for proposals from a fictional local council. Each student assumed a role, allowing them to develop an understanding of the various market and non-market forces and stakeholders in the development process.

The workshop aims to create informed citizens who better understand the communities they live and work within, help young people understand the role real estate plays in reviving and regenerating urban areas, support social mobility and the long term success of the industry, and enrich the curriculum by bringing urban studies to life, all whilst promoting careers in the built environment.

Utilising easy-to-use multimedia resources, including a teachers’ toolkit, templates, 3D models, briefing films, and a fully-functional mobile app, the students were tasked with creating well-designed, market-responsive, and sustainable project that addressed challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues. They had to develop a 3D model of their plan and present their proposal to the ‘city council,’ which was made up of industry experts, who ultimately awarded the development contract to the winning team.

The ‘City Council’ panel was made up of Adrian Bland (Shakespeare Martineau), Alistair Reason (Urban Land Institute), Simran Kaur (Challenging the Face of Property), Sadaqat Hussain (Cushman & Wakefield), and Ashley Robertson (Urban Land Institute). The experts came from organisations and professions as varied as lawyers, planning consultants, quantity surveyors, commercial real estate developers, investors, and lenders, and the Urban Land Institute themselves. The workshop was delivered by UrbanPlan UK’s On-Tour team Richard and Osian.

The workshop is designed predominantly for sixth-form students, however the Year 10 and 11 students took to the challenge with such tact and diligence, displaying our CORE values throughout, and making us all very proud of them. The winning team was:

Sona – 11E

Ibrahim – 11O

Maria – 10E

Tadalesh – 10R

Kacper – 11R

Dehnim -10C