Engineering students turn town planners at UrbanPlan workshop

Engineering Workshop

Engineering students at Westminster Kingsway College put their planning and business skills to the test when they were tasked with redeveloping a site in a fictional town.

Three teams of six students took part in the workshop run by UrbanPlan UK, an educational initiative to help students learn about urban regeneration.

They were asked to form property companies responding to a council request to redevelop a town centre with each team member given a specific role in the process.

The students had to reconcile competing agendas to create a well-designed and sustainable development that met the needs of the town.

They discussed financial, market and political forces as well as design issues before creating a computer-generated 3D model of their proposal.

Each team presented their proposal to a group of quantity surveyors acting as council representatives who would award a contract to the best design.

The students from the winning property company called Essential Innovation Developments were Kimberley Akingbehin, Kieran Ammon, Sinem Bozkurt, Jayue Desai, Deimante Labinaite and Youcef Remmouche.

They came up with a balanced, financially viable design for their town centre that was not overcrowded, had plenty of green spaces and met the needs of the community.

Kimberley, 17, from Lambeth, said: “I want to become a project manager, and this really gave me an insight into the skills that are needed for that kind of role.

“We learnt how to interact and listen to each other’s opinions, take them into account and sometimes compromise and came to a mutual agreement as a team.”

UrbanPlan began running interactive workshops across the United States in 2003 and in recent years has branched out to schools and colleges in Europe and Asia.

In the UK the project has reached more than 3.500 pupils and students since its launch in 2014 with the support of over 600 industry volunteers across the country.

Joao Duarte, Lecturer in Physics and Engineering at Westminster Kingsway, said: “The UrbanPlan challenge was an amazing experience where our students sampled a real-world engineering scenario. They planned the regeneration of a rundown town centre taking into account design, financial and social aspects; all in a fast-paced and competitive environment mimicking real life.

“It was a great opportunity for the students to learn about property development, as well as developing skills such as team-working and effective communication skills which are so highly sought in the job market.”

WestKing regularly works in partnership with employers and organisations to provide opportunities for students to gain work-related skills to help them achieve their career goals.

Click here to apply for Engineering courses.

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