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Urban Planning Project

Over the last three weeks eighteen Year 12 students have been participating in an Urban Planning Project.

This project is run by the Urban Land Institute and is designed to give sixth form students a taste of what it takes to develop a rundown area of a city into a thriving new urban space.  The students were given the task to regenerate three sites within Ellham, a deprived area of the fictitious Yorktown.  After watching videos of the council's requirements the students were taught how to complete a presentation to win the rights to develop this area.  They each took on varied professional roles including: Finance Director, Head of Sales and Marketing and Head of Planning and Strategy. 

Using 3D models the teams tried to meet the many and varied requirements of the local residents, investors and the council itself.  They used online software which gave them financial and logistical specifics of their proposed sites.  The students were assisted by six industry experts, who volunteered their time to give some real world advice to the teams.  The experts all work in real estate development and gave gravitas to the discussions.

After finalising their proposals the teams were given some presentation advice by the industry experts.  This advice included wide ranging skills such as eye contact, confidence and using your voice in order to engage any prospective audience.  The students then spent the next week at school developing their presentations. 

On Monday 16th November the teams presented their proposals to the local ‘council’ who were made up of further industry experts.  They had eight minutes to explain the strengths of their bid, giving financial details as well as where they had met the non-financial requirements.  The council then asked questions which the pupils had to think quickly to respond to.  All the students excelled in their presentations and the council had a very tough decision to make as to who would win the rights to develop Ellham.

In the end the council decided that the best all-round bid had come from Unique Solutions, who succeeded with a bid of £45,000,000 giving a profit to investors of 21%.  The team was made up of Louis Cuffaro, Chrys Ioannou, Ayooluwa Afolabi and Steffi Apicella.  Special mention has to be made to the CLA team whose bid of £65,000,000 only just missed out for being slightly too risky, but was a very polished and professional proposal.

Overall the project was hugely informative and engaging and has given many students an insight into a potential area of further study as well as many useful employment opportunities.