Partnering With The Urban Land Institute For UrbanPlan Workshops

Neighborhood Preservation, Inc., is partnering with ULI Memphis to coordinate the UrbanPlan workshops. The Urban Land Institute (ULI), founded in 1936, has members in 95 countries worldwide, representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service. ULI Memphis offers a variety of ways for Memphians interested in the real estate and planning fields to enter or learn more about the local development field in Memphis, including technical assistance panels (TAPs), a Young Leaders Group, and UrbanPlan workshops. 

A day-long simulation of a planning process involving teams that work together using Legos, a site plan, and a spreadsheet to respond to a fictional RFPs (Request for Proposals) for the neighborhood of Elmwood in the city of Yorktown. Teams must decide how dense to build out a five-and-a-half-block area, whether to keep or move a homeless shelter, what type of retail is appropriate and which neighborhood groups to keep happy – all while meeting the financial projections of the City and the Developer (your boss). The day ends with teams presenting to a mock City Council to seek an approval of their proposal.

UrbanPlan workshops are highly interactive planning simulations that allow Memphians a firsthand experience in the fundamental forces that affect urban development. The program originated as a program for high school students that grew to offer versions designed for college students and public officials. UrbanPlan Memphis is a unique version of the program where we have adapted our version to work alongside Memphis 3.0 to encourage public engagement in the planning and redevelopment processes. 

“Building a city is a complicated process that requires many necessary tradeoffs, and balancing a city’s equitable needs with the values and desires of multiple parties is no small feat. The UrbanPlan program seeks to train how every party at the table plays a role in shaping a city’s fate. Non-profit professionals, policy makers, developers, architects, public officials, resident leaders and young professionals should make every effort to engage in this simulation to learn these very values.” Leslie Smith, BLDG Memphis

Anyone who wants to understand how the planning process works and how they can contribute to Memphis’s 3.0 planning process is invited to attend the next UrbanPlan workshop on Friday, December 14, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at Memphis BioWorks. This includes non-profit professionals, policy makers, developers, architects, public officials, resident leaders, young professionals and anyone else who wants to learn. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and free parking is available on site. If you are interested in attending, please register online at:

To learn more about UrbanPlan and future workshop opportunities, please contact Ms. Imani Jasper at or (901) 701-8046.

Imani Jasper is the Project Coordinator at NPI. From Cornell University, she graduated Cum Laude in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Urban and Regional studies and earned her Master’s degree in City and Regional planning in 2018. She has worked in New York City and Cleveland on a variety of urban issues.

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