Encouraging the next generation into property – Back to school for Alumno Development Manager Richard Syddall

Encouraging the next generation into property – Back to school for Alumno Development Manager Richard Syddall

Alumno Development Manager Richard Syddall has just returned from Chester where he was a volunteer as part of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Urban Plan education programme. Ten groups of up to 6 lower sixth form students at Christleton High School were tasked with forming property development companies which must respond to the fictional Yorkton City Council request to provide a development proposal for the town of Ellham.

Assisted by volunteers working closely with students to provide their industry insight, each student is allocated a role (including Head of Finance, Planning, Partnerships and Sales & Marketing) to plan the site. Teams address challenging financial, market, social, political, and design issues, develop a 3D model of their plan and present their proposal.

Proposals were then pitched to the Council with the winning team being invited to a final with other school teams in London.

Richard’s view on the day: “It was a brilliant experience engaging young students in an exercise not very dissimilar to my day to day development role. The level of thinking and creativity demonstrated by students was fantastic to see.  We hope we stimulated their student interest in considering a career in property.”

More information on UrbaPlan can be found here

About Urban Plan

UrbanPlan is a fully funded education programme for sixth form students, led by professional facilitators and supported by volunteer property industry experts. It is free of charge to non fee-paying schools.

Working in small groups, students form property development companies which compete to regenerate a fictional city centre site. Simulating real-life, students work through financial, design, ethical and environmental challenges in order to create a financially viable scheme comprising a mix of commercial and residential uses. Once designed, their final challenge is to present their ideas to the volunteers and receive your expert feedback. UrbanPlan is a highly successful education programme which has been running for ten years in the US. It has been redesigned so it complements the UK curriculum and reflects the UK industry. The programme has been developed by educationalists and reviewed thoroughly by teachers and industry experts. In 2014 the programme was piloted in selected schools and has been running successfully in the UK since 2015.

The objectives of UrbanPlan are to:

• Create informed citizens who better understand communities in which they live and work

• Help young people understand the role real estate plays to revive and regenerate urban areas

• Enrich the curriculum by bringing urban studies to life

• Develop valuable links between schools and industry

• Support the long term success of industry by addressing the challenge to reach students from diverse social and economic demographic backgrounds

• Engage with and raise the aspirations of young people

• Promote careers in the built environment