Elon University / Today in Elon / Students experiment with the land use decision process in the UrbanPlan competition

The event in Elon provided students with the opportunity to learn about the various forces that affect the development of communities.

Nearly two dozen students from the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business participated in Elon’s first UrbanPlan competition, held in partnership with the Urban Land Institute.

Xuan Huynh ’24 shares an idea with his team during the UrbanPlan contest.

The one-day event, hosted by the Center for Financial Literacy and coordinated by Assistant Professor of Finance Margarita Kaprielyan, challenged teams to construct a city plan and come up with realistic land use solutions to a panel of real estate professionals sitting as judges.

The teams received a description of a city and the city’s objectives in a new urban development. Each team was made up of students taking on the roles of Financial Analyst, Marketing Manager, City Liaison, Neighborhood Liaison, Site Planner, and Sustainability Manager.

“Participating in the UrbanPlan competition was such a great experience because a lot of it was about teamwork and how to incorporate everyone’s idea into a final plan,” Nicole Hill said. 25. “I learned a lot about the importance of playing a role in your group and how it happens on a daily basis.”

five students standing
Nicole Hill ’25, Lily Cooper ’24, Caitlynn Collins ’24, Miki Radan ’24, Elizabeth Sulley ’25 and Holden Taylor ’25 won the 2022 Elon UrbanPlan competition.

Hill, Lily Cooper ’24, Caitlynn Collins ’24, Miki Radan ’24, Elizabeth Sulley ’25 and Holden Taylor ’25 made up the winning team.

“I found it helpful to work with peers I had never met before because we brought in so many different ideas,” Sulley said. “I think having so many different opinions but being able to have a common goal really helped us win this contest and prepare us for future group projects!”

Teams faced difficult issues, roles in the private and public sectors, complex trade-offs and fundamental economics at play as they came up with realistic land use solutions to growth challenges. thorny. For many participants, the competition was their first exposure to planning and land use planning decisions.

“Before the day started, I was so nervous about attending the UrbanPlan competition because I didn’t know anyone and had no experience,” Collins explained. “Throughout the day I felt much more comfortable and really enjoyed the process and meeting new people. Now I’m so excited to continue learning about city planning and want to participate in more business competitions available through Elon!

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