Meet Paul the Planning Alpaca, Planning and Urban Design’s new mascot
How do you teach kids and teenagers about Urban Planning and why it matters for their neighborhoods and cities?
The Planning & Urban Design (PUD) department has launched a new educational initiative through its new mascot, Paul the Planning Alpaca and a new activity book called Paul the Planning Alpaca Teaches us about Urban Planning in Dallas.
So why an Alpaca as PUD’s mascot and educational tool? Well, alpacas are typically very friendly and curious which are great attributes for a Planner to have. Paul’s backstory highlights his family’s move from Peru when he was a child. Like many Dallas residents, Paul was not born in Texas but loves his new home. He has a passion for maps and learning about his town; he brought that curiosity to Texas where he got his degree in Urban Planning and started working for the City of Dallas to help make a difference in his adopted home.
In the booklet, kids, teenagers and adults alike can learn the basics of Urban Planning and what Planners do in a normal week. The booklet covers topics like what goes into a plan, what zoning is, what Urban Design is specifically and how Planners work with residents and organizations to ensure their neighborhoods remain a great place to live.
While this campaign may seem like a nontraditional educational tool, cities, public agencies, and organizations across the country have used coloring books to break down big concepts into simple ideas that residents can relate to. Great examples from the Dallas area include Dart, Dmagazine and the Dallas Mavericks.
The hope is that Paul will help offer a light, fun and engaging way to teach kids and adults about Urban Planning. Urban Planning may not be a traditional subject for kids to learn about, but the more informed kids and teenagers are about their neighborhood and city, the more interested they are to play a role in the future of their communities.
PUD team continues to take a proactive role in helping teach kids in schools around Dallas about Urban Planning. Learn more about Paul or have a Planner or Urban Designer come speak to a class at your school here or contact [email protected].