ULI Announces Recipients of 2013 Urban Innovation Grants


CHICAGO – November 6, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Seventeen grants totaling $250,000 have been awarded to Urban Land Institute (ULI) district and national councils through ULI’s Urban Innovation Grant program. The recipients were announced today at ULI’s Fall Meeting in Chicago.

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Funding for the program is provided by the ULI Foundation’s Annual Fund, which supports local ULI projects that recognize or launch innovative public-private partnerships that advance the responsible use of land in building healthy, thriving communities worldwide. Only ULI district and national councils are eligible to apply for grants, with awards ranging between $10,000 and $25,000.

According to Urban Innovation Grants Committee chairman, John H. Mays, managing partner, Gould & Ratner LLP, the grants help create laboratories for ideas in helping tackle the pressing issues facing communities. “The grant awards not only recognize new approaches in solving challenges at the local level, but they serve as a delivery system for innovative ULI ideas that have a lasting impact in creating sustaining and healthy communities,” said Mays.

The recipients of the 2013 ULI Urban Innovation Fund grants are:

  • ULI Arizona: Building Healthy Places in Arizona through Community Plan – Building on ULI Arizona’s ongoing Community Plan public officials education curriculum, ULI Arizona will convene work groups of land use planning and health professionals in three pilot urban and rural counties to enhance expertise and professional development regarding how the built environment affects health. Lessons learned through these pilots will form the foundation of strategies transferable to communities and regions statewide. This project will include development of a checklist for use in prioritization of local government capital investments that promote healthy community outcomes and also Community Plan training materials to fully integrate healthy community ideals.
  • ULI Carolinas (Charlotte, South Carolina, Triangle): Carolinas Regional Meeting – In January 2014, ULI Charlotte, South Carolina and Triangle will convene a forum that will focus on rethinking and reorienting the future of southern communities from car- to people-oriented. The regional conference will address themes associated with shifting demographics, immigration, access to fresh, local food and innovative community design.
  • ULI Colorado: Building Healthy Places TAPs – ULI Colorado plans to provide Building Health Places (BHP)-themed technical advisory panels (TAP) to three communities that demonstrate need from across the state. This program is designed to connect the expertise of leading ULI members and partners who build healthy places to the communities that need help.  Two of the three proposed panels will address general community and public health related to the built environment. Each panel will last two days engaging five-to-seven ULI volunteers.  A third panel lasting just one day will address a more specific issue, such as a single site or part of a neighborhood.  The purpose of including both two-day and one-day panels is to compare the effectiveness of different approaches: one community-wide, and one site specific.
  • ULI Columbus: Growth Scenarios for the Central Ohio Region — To continue the efforts of ULI Columbus’ initiative 2050, and examine more closely the impacts of how and where the region will grow, ULI Columbus will partner with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and the Columbus Partnership to complete a regional growth analysis of the fiscal, environmental, and public health impacts of alternative land use and transportation scenarios for the Central Ohio Region. Together with our partners, a firm will be hired to conduct the regional growth scenario analysis.  MORPC will be the primary funder and holder of the contract.  The benefits of various growth patterns will then be used by MORPC and local governments to guide decisions about Central Ohio’s growth strategies.
  • ULI Florida (Central Florida, North Florida, Southeast Florida/Caribbean, Southwest Florida, Tampa Bay): Leveraging the Intersection of Transportation, Health, and Land Use in Florida — The proposed project is a statewide initiative with a targeted focus on each of the five regions represented by ULI District Councils in Florida. With the work of nationally renowned author and physician Richard Jackson, MD, MPH as a fundamental platform, the goal is to engage stakeholders in each area to conduct an assessment of local obstacles to healthy communities and merge the input into a larger statewide body of work with specific action items prioritized. As part of the process, Dr. Jackson will lead a forum/community discussion in each District Council.
  • ULI Los Angeles: Bringing Development Expertise to L.A. River Revitalization Partnership — ULI Los Angeles will partner with the multiple public agencies and private nonprofits to bring the specific development expertise currently lacking in efforts to restore the Los Angeles River linear Central Park.  An example of an issue ULI Los Angeles will address is the existence of a rail yard (Piggy Back Yard) adjacent to the River that is precluding needed River restoration.  ULI will bring its national expertise to examine how other cities have dealt with conflicts between long standing central city rail infrastructure and much needed modern urban green recreational space. A modified ULI TAPs program could examine Los Angeles specific solutions, identifying potential relocation sites and the policies, regulations, and/or incentives that are necessary to make the sites economically feasible.
  • ULI Mainland China: Urban Regeneration in Shanghai – ULI Mainland China will hold a series of workshops in Shanghai to study the key challenges and opportunities of urban regeneration with key stake holders including participants from the government, developers, investors, urban planners, and civic groups.  The seminars should identify key principles for urban regeneration that will facilitate sustainable and healthy communities.  With green field development opportunities dwindling and a growing stock of existing buildings suffering from poor maintenance and obsolescence, China’s urban cores need to regenerate in order to meet the rising aspirations of Chinese urban residents.  At the completion of the workshops, a Ten Principles for Urban Regeneration report will be published.
  • ULI Minnesota: Building Healthy Places: Prospect Park Station District — The Prospect North Partnership has contracted with ULI Minnesota to co-facilitate a public/private partnership to support redevelopment, housing and employment opportunity, transit connectivity and 21st century sustainable urban living, with strong support from the surrounding neighborhood and the University of Minnesota.  The 80-acre Prospect North Station District is on the soon to be opened Central LRT Corridor.  ULI Minnesota will convene Prospect North diverse stakeholders and ULI Minnesota members to create both the culture and the place that will support healthy living.  ULI Minnesota will then enlist champions and develop an implementation guide that will be endorsed and implemented by the partnership.
  • ULI Nashville: Shaping Healthy Communities: Building Healthy Places — ULI Nashville, in partnership with the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) will host a joint seminar; including an educational session focused on NCDC’s Shaping Healthy Communities project findings and strategies.  The seminar will engage a nationally recognized speaker, and a TAP-type Charrette to identify implementation opportunities of ULI best practices. ULI Nashville (and other regional District Councils) members would add action-oriented real estate and development strategies in this Implementation TAP/Charrette.  A TAP/Charrette Report of results and measureable recommendations for action will be published and disseminated.
  • ULI New York: Using TOD to Build Healthy, Sustainable Communities”: A Technical Assistance Panel Series – This project is a series of two 2-day TAPs to develop further implementation strategies for DCP’s Sustainable Communities recommendations in East New York, Brooklyn and University Heights, Bronx.  The strategies were based on two three-year planning studies led by DCP and funded by a U.S. Department of Housing Preservation and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant  that focused on the need to develop disadvantaged communities in NYC that have under-utilized transit resources and tremendous transit-oriented development opportunities.
  • ULI Norway: The Oslo Winter Olympics bid as a driver of public health and urban development change as part of the proposed legacy for the 2022 Games — ULI Norway has been active in the discussion with the City of Oslo about their bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.  ULI Norway has offered preliminary technical recommendations about the need for early legacy planning to achieve the City’s built-environment, economic, and health goals.  In order to expand on these recommendations, ULI Norway will convene a 3-day panel whose intention would be to set out tenets of international best practices and accelerate learning of next steps for the City and its partners.  After the panel, a formal report will be presented to the City with recommendations to better position them to advance a credible bid to host the 2022 games.
  • ULI Pittsburgh: PLAY ALL DAY: Methods & Models for Re-Visioned Park Resources — ULI Pittsburgh in partnership with Moraine State Park, Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau, and the Moraine Preservation Fund hopes to launch a Building Healthy Places Initiative focused on Pittsburgh, PA as a replicable model for any District Council. Re-visioning the resources of parks and open spaces, ULI Pittsburgh will produce a new “PLAY ALL DAY: Methods & Models for Re-visioned Resources” document with adaptable uses for open spaces and parks, test piloted through the enhancement of the 16th Annual – Lake Arthur Regatta on August 2-3, 2014.
  • ULI San Francisco and Northwest: Building Healthy Places through Innovation and Exchange – ULI San Francisco and ULI Northwest will each host a 2-day study trip in their respective regions for a group of invited members representing both District Councils.  During both visits, ULI members will be exposed to community stakeholders engaged in promoting public health through panel discussions, site visits, and informational presentations.  The focus will be innovative, “moving the needle” topic areas relevant to land use and real estate.  ULI members invited to attend will be the “movers and shakers” in their respective communities including developers, lenders, public officials, planners, and architects.
  • ULI Singapore: Creating Healthy Places through Active Mobility — ULI Singapore and the Centre for Liveable Cities will conduct a collaborative research project to better understand the behavioral patterns and perceptions in addition to physical provisions would help ULI members, government agencies and the Singapore development community make long-term decisions about walking and biking mobility options.  ULI Singapore will invite its member experts on Building Healthy Places as advisors to the research, including engaging them for discussions at two workshops.  The preliminary findings of the research, particularly from the workshops, will be presented by ULI at World Cities Summit 2014 in June 2014. Findings would be delivered at the ULI Fall meeting 2014. The final deliverable would be a joint ULI-CLC publication, Creating Healthy Places through Active Mobility, with lessons from the Singapore context.
  • ULI Texas (Austin, Houston, North Texas, San Antonio): ULI Texas Task Force on Building Healthy Places — A regional collaboration among ULI District Councils in the four largest Texas markets: Austin, Houston, North Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth) and San Antonio. This project will create a statewide task force of real estate developers engaged in building healthy places, and build bridges to create new partnerships with public and private sector leaders.  The project will convene the innovative developers to share their real world experiences and disseminate best practices and lessons learned in suburban green field, urban infill and aging first-ring suburban communities.  The publication will be released at a major event in September 2014, “Building Healthier Places in Texas.”
  • ULI U.K.: The Impact of Digital and Technology on Retail and Leisure in Glasgow – There is a 30 percent vacancy rate in shop units within Downtown retail zones across the UK, including Glasgow.  This project will be built around a series of three “knowledge exchange” round tables, bringing in international experts and practitioners from the retail and leisure sectors as well as the technology and consumer behavior fields to develop future scenarios for its Downtown area. Case studies and data that capture best practice will enable these round tables to test a series of strategic options that help the City of Glasgow and its partners to develop futures scenarios for its Downtown area.
  • ULI Washington: Repurposing Aging Infrastructure for Health: The 11th Street Bridge Park — As the old 11th Street Bridge is being replaced, the District government and a nonprofit called Building Bridges Across the River will transform aging infrastructure into the City’s first Health Hub, an elevated park to provide a new venue for healthy recreation, environmental education, and the arts.  ULI Washington proposes to facilitate design charrettes with the community to engage them in the design and function of the 11th Street Bridge Park.  The outcomes of the charrettes will be used to inform the next phase of the project which will be a nationwide design competition to create 11th Street Bridge Park.

The grant recipients were selected by a review committee of renowned land use development and planning experts. In addition to chairman Mays, other members were Robert E. Engstrom, president, Robert Engstrom Companies;  Lizanne Galbreath Megrue, managing partner, Galbreath and Company; Jim Chaffin, partner, Chaffin Light Management, LLC; and Thomas W. Toomey, chief executive officer, UDR, Inc.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

Contact: Robert Krueger at 202/624-7086.

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