Planning graduate students share their work during the fourth annual 'Plan-Off!’ competition

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Some of Virginia Commonwealth University’s top planning graduate students presented their work to a panel of professional judges during the fourth annual “VCU Plan-Off!” competition on May 6 at the University Student Commons.

The plan-off demonstrated the abilities of students who are finishing the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. The competition featured research from 15 students. 

Each participating student presented a plan that represented a semester of work focused on solving a real planning issue, public policy or management opportunity. The plans are part of a studio two capstone class that comes at the end of the two-year program. As part of the class, students identified and studied an issue, worked with a client, engaged people who are affected by the issue and prepared a solution.

The students’ plans covered a variety of topics, including water use, affordable housing, mobile home living, recreation, transportation, redevelopment and historical preservation. The plans represented projects in Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia Beach and the town of Dillwyn. 

During the competition, each student condensed the plan into a five-minute presentation, aiming to convince the judges of the value of their work in addressing the issue. The original field was narrowed to a "final four." From that group, the judges selected Will Wright’s “RVA Bike Parking Solutions” plan as the overall winner.

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning is a two-year degree program requiring 48 semester hours of class work and 120 hours of internship experience. The program is part of VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

Established in 1973, the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board and offers professional grounding in the theory and methodology of planning through a curriculum that balances classroom, studio projects and other field experience. The program has provided training to more than 1,400 professional planners and undergraduates.


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