Econ Class Adds Urban Planning
Maclay’s Econ Class ventured into a new curricular program this year by partnering with the Urban Land Institute. The ULI is a three-week hands-on simulation project that involves students being placed in groups of five and each taking on a roll in the areas of finance, marketing, community liaison, neighborhood liaison, and site planner. Using economic concepts such as supply and demand, allocation of resources, taxes and subsidiaries, and business structures, the groups simulate the redevelopment and revitalization of the city of Elmwood. Based on certain goals, both social and economic, students competed to redesign Elmwood. They had to decide how much office and retail space to build and how many and what type of residential areas to include. Each week, the groups were visited by community volunteers from the ULI who quizzed them on their decisions and progress and helped them develop their concepts. In December, each of the groups presented their “Elmwood” to the Tallahassee City Council including Nick Maddox chair of Leon County Board of County Commissioners. The project engaged the students in a multitude of ways including the application of economic principles, group dynamics, problem-solving, and collaboration.
“If I lectured the whole semester the students may or may not retain the principles of economics,” said teacher Stephanie McCann. “This way they are applying all of the concepts and incorporating the ideas. The ULI has been a great addition. It provided us laptops and software with the curriculum. I think the students got a lot out of it.”