‘Block City’ teaches kids how cities are built

Posted at 5:44 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 19:44:07-04

HERRIMAN, Utah -- City planning and playing with blocks go hand in hand.

That's part of the reasoning behind an elementary school program in the Jordan District pairing professional city planners with fifth- and sixth-grade classes.

The students spent three weeks learning about things like zoning, construction, and utilities and then they built their own models of buildings ranging from hospitals to office buildings to one business called "The Hippie Hotel," complete with a giant sunflower over the facade.

The program is called "Block City," and planners from Lehi, Draper, Sandy, Herriman and Riverton spent the morning at Blackridge Elementary School helping students complete three dimensional city plans and then judging the plans as if they were a planning commission.

"They're going to go through the same process that most developers have to go through to learn how to develop a city," said Mayor Carmen Freeman of Herriman, who was on hand to see the projects.

Sixth grader Bailey Tillman said the project made them think about how their own city is organized.

"You learn about making a city, and you plan it, and you make little houses, and you learn about all of the things you can do in a city," Bailey said.