Y-PLAN High School Student Scholars in the Peninsula Lift Up Proposals to Address Affordable Housing, Their Client Facebook is Listening
Center for Cities + Schools
May 30, 2019
In 2004, the College of Environmental Design and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education teamed up to establish the UCB Center for Cities + Schools (CC+S). The program was guided by a mission to resolve sky-rocketing housing costs and to inspire future urban planners within Bay Area high schools. Based within CC+S, Y-PLAN is an award-winning educational strategy established in 1999. Y-PLAN empowers young people to tackle real-world problems in their communities through project-based civic learning experiences.
Through Y-PLAN, students from neighboring high schools have been able to research and analyze current housing conditions within their communities and propose solutions.
After multiple interviews, surveys, site mappings, and presentations at city council meetings and the UC campus, recent student housing proposals created by Y-PLAN students have been jump-started by Facebook.
Facebook and other project clients have responded to the recommendations of Y-PLAN students by funding a $1 million dollar affordable housing accessory dwelling unit project for low-income residents in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.
As a result of their success, the students have been featured on NBC, ABC 7 News, and Telemundo, as well as in print in the San Jose Mercury News, and on radio at KCBS.
“Students are passionate about improving the places we all call home and want to underscore the urgency of addressing current inequities in affordability, accessibility, connectivity, and inclusion in our cities,” said Dr. Deborah McKoy, executive director at the Center for Cities + Schools. “When our clients like Facebook take the next step and begin implementing youth-driven designs and policy recommendations, we at CC+S are reaffirmed that Y-PLAN is a successful model for authentic partnership between young people and civic partners to plan more inclusive, healthy, and joyful cities for young people — and everyone.”