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UrbanPlan Workshop

  • Memphis Bioworks 20 S. Dudley Street Memphis, TN, 38103 United States (map)

UrbanPlan workshops are highly interactive, planning simulations that allow Memphians a firsthand experience in the fundamental forces that affect urban development.

In this one-day workshop, participants are assigned a real-life role (e.g. Site Planner, Financial Analyst, Neighborhood Liaison) and work in small development teams.  Using Legos, a map and spreadsheet, participants compete to respond to a hypothetical RFP for the redevelopment of the blighted urban area of “Elmwood” located in the fictitious City of Yorktown, USA.

UrbanPlan teams will:

  • Plan
    • Decide how to redevelop Elmwood in response to City’s RFP
    • Create a Vision statement, Site Plan, and Financial Model
    • Receive two consultation visits from industry experts
  • Present
    • Each team will make a short presentation of their proposal to Yorktown’s City Council
    • Councilmembers will ask questions and teams will be expected to defend their plan

Primary RFP Goals include:

  • Remove blighting influences
  • Generate tax revenues for the City
  • Create employment opportunities
  • Attract retail businesses
  • Create housing to meet the needs of mixed-income groups
  • Create affordable housing
  • Create or preserve public and private amenities
  • Preserve legally designated historic sites

Key Take Aways

By stepping into the role of developer, UrbanPlan participants have an opportunity to broaden their knowledge in key areas such as:

  • the basics of a pro forma and funding of a project;
  • the economics of different building types and community benefits;
  • the critical importance of thoughtful and comprehensive planning;
  • the different time horizons for the public and private sectors; and
  • the importance of a clear and open process in the selection of partners

With an increased understanding of urban land development, participants will be better equipped to engage in planning and dialogue more effectively with decision makers.

Earlier Event: March 30
"Easter Parade" on the Front Lawn
Later Event: April 6
First Friday: Tattered Treasures