A-Level students from St Andrew’s High School in Croydon are among the first in the UK to benefit from a new initiative which teaches young people about the urban environment through a series of interactive workshops and team challenges.
Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson which is set to redevelop Croydon’s retail centre, has teamed up with the ULI (the Urban Land Institute) to deliver the “ULI UrbanPlan UK” workshop to students studying Geography and Business Studies. Hammerson is among the country’s real estate companies to sponsor the pioneering initiative which is being launched in the UK this Autumn.
The workshop aims to bring the built environment to life by challenging students to plan the redevelopment of a hypothetical town. The main objectives of the programme are to create more informed citizens who better understand the communities in which they live, to enrich the A-level curriculum, to create links between the property industry and schools, and to encourage young people to consider careers in real estate.
The UrbanPlan model has already proved successful in the U.S., engaging with thousands of students over a ten year period. Its launch in the UK will initially engage with 15 schools nationwide, including St Andrews, before being rolled out widely in schools across the country next year.
The initiative forms part of Croydon Partnership’s Community Plan, which represents a programme of projects and schemes to help ensure that the borough, its residents, local businesses and grass roots community organisations will benefit immediately, and over the long term, from the redevelopment of Croydon’s retail core.
The first one-day workshop was delivered by members of the Croydon Partnership development team, including Carolyn Kenney, who said:
“UrbanPlan gives students a unique insight into the complexities of urban redevelopment and raises awareness of the myriad of job opportunities in the property industry. Youth enterprise lies at the heart of our Community Plan, so this initiative is a perfect fit for us. This initiative builds on our relationship with St Andrews, a school with which we already have strong links through the Youth Guarantee scheme, an EU pilot programme delivered in partnership with Croydon Council.”