Building a City

The first annual urban plan

Julia Rodriguez, Features editor

     A portion of this year’s senior class participated in a city wide program called Urban Plan. Urban plan is a project where students are assigned groups and have to build out 6 blocks of a city. The students are given five “roles” to choose from as a group. These roles are Financial Analyst, Marketing Director, Site Planner, City Liaison and Neighborhood Liaison. Each student has one role that they become immersed into. They learn all aspects of their position and create a new “Elwood District”. The students are given a booklet full of information to assist them on their journey. This booklet contains the RFP or Request for Proposal. This is the “city” guidelines that the groups must use to formulate their plan. The RFP contains requirements that each group must meet including creating new entry level and professional jobs and creating housing geared toward all income groups. 

     The booklet also contains “letters” from the neighborhood groups with their requests and from companies that want to build in the city. The students were given a three week period to build their city and try to accommodate as many of the groups as possible. During this period the groups had facilitations where volunteers, who are experts in their fields, come in and question them on their plans. This is in attempt to have the groups consider changes to their plan but also prepare them for the impending doom of their final presentation.

     Once the three weeks are finished the groups have a final presentation. The groups presented for 12 minutes and then they were questioned for 12 minutes. A set of volunteers dubbed “city council members” came in to listen and judge the presentations. One group “Future Corporation” was deemed the winner.

     In the days following the presentation, the groups sat and discussed what could be improved upon in the project. Overall I believe the project was very helpful in giving a different, more real life approach to understanding economics. It also forces students to go outside their comfort zone and present to people they have never met before. I think with some tweaks on the preparation, the project will be very successful here at Bishop Kenny.