Planning For a Better Future with Lego Blocks

By Muhammed Izol 

On December 1st 2016, a group of students from FHCI attended a field trip led by Mr. Ketchum. The trip was to Metro Convention Centre to participate in a seven hour long workshop done by Urban Land Institute. The workshop was previously done in high schools in the UK and US, but never in Canada before. So, the Forest Hill Collegiate students had the honour of participating the first Urban Land Institute workshop in Canada.

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The purpose of the workshop was to engage teenagers in the leadership, work, planning, and effort that goes into designing the neighbourhoods that we live in and to understand the importance of urban planning.

During the workshop, students were put into groups, and each member of the group were given jobs such as finance director, marketing director, city liaison, neighbourhood liaison, or site planner. By the end of the workshop, students were to design and plan a neighbourhood while satisfying the requests from the city council and the residents living in the area.

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A group of students in a workshop at the Metro Convention Centre

Throughout the workshop each group was visited twice by two different professionals and were asked challenging questions on their decisions. This was done in order to better prepare them for the final presentation to the city council as the groups would compete with each other to be chosen as the best neighbourhood plan.

Even though the presentation was difficult, as the groups were being asked critical questions by professional adults, each group was successful in their presentation. The participants were given the Urban Land Institute Certificate for completing the workshop with success.

More on Urban Planning and Its Importance

Urban planning is the developed, safe, and sustainable use of land. It becomes a great concern for future generations as the population shifts from rural areas to more urban areas. As populations of cities get larger, the area used by the cities grow, so does destruction of wild life habitat and carbon emission. Raising awareness amongst the youth and educating them about the issues of tomorrow allow for them to plan better for the future. Which is why it is important to have field trips and workshops (like the Urban Land Institute Urban Planning Workshop) designed to educate kids on real life issues outside the classroom