Chris Ruhlen Participates in UrbanPlan Initiative at BCC High School
Chris Ruhlen recently participated in the UrbanPlan Program at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. The program, which is designed by the Urban Land Institute, is a realistic, engaging and academically demanding classroom-based curriculum in which students learn about the fundamental forces that affect development in the United States. Students experience the challenging issues, private and public sector roles, complex trade-offs and fundamental economics in play when proposing realistic land use solutions to vexing growth challenges. They are assembled into teams that create new development models with each team member assigned a role: site planner, financial analyst, marketing director, neighborhood liaison and city liaison.
This year's teams were particularly creative–there were Q-Marts in proposals, teams that drew inspiration from towns in New England and England, and even a team that provided 48% affordable housing and still met the required thresholds for profit. Volunteers from ULI serve as facilitators throughout the course, which culminates in the teams presenting these plans to a "City Council" made up of ULI members. Chris served as a City Council Member.
Chris Ruhlen is a land use attorney at Lerch, Early & Brewer in Bethesda, Maryland who is an active member of ULI's Washington, DC chapter.