ULI Announces Winners of the 2016 Urban Innovation Grants


Grants Totaling $100,000 Awarded to District and National Councils

WASHINGTON (November 4, 2016) – Ten grants totaling $100,000 have been awarded to Urban Land Institute (ULI) district and national councils through ULI’s Urban Innovation Grant program. Only ULI district and national councils are eligible to apply for grants, with awards ranging between $10,000 and $25,000 for innovative projects that engage ULI members and further the institute’s mission at the local level.

“The Urban Innovation Grants program is helping our members make a real, measurable difference in how our communities are growing for the future,” said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “These grants are catalyzing the type of thought leadership and innovative work that results in places that are more livable, prosperous and sustainable.”

The recipients of the 2016 ULI Urban Innovation Grants are:

  • ULI Central Florida: Encore Entrepreneur Initiative & the Built Environment – To help respond to the growing number of retirees taking on “encore” careers and self-created entrepreneurial endeavors in Florida, ULI Central Florida will team up with the four other Florida district councils to better inform stakeholders regarding how to create an attractive environment for this demographic. The five district councils will convene workshops in each geographic area of the state and prepare a report and presentation to be used as a resource by planners, developers, builders, community leaders, and local governments.
  • ULI Cleveland: Building the 21st-Century City: Best Practices for Creating a Thriving Urban Core – Akron, Ohio, has invested much in the revitalization of its downtown, and strong demand exists for housing in the center of the city, but the demand is not being met by entrepreneurs seeking to provide a variety of housing choices. ULI Cleveland plans to hold a daylong symposium designed to appeal to all the thought leaders of Akron, as well as constituents interested in seeing Akron grow.
  • ULI Europe (France, Ireland, and the Netherlands): Affordable Housing in Europe: Developing New Solutions and Partnerships through City Gaming – One critical issue when it comes to the lack of affordable housing in many cities across Europe is the relationship between the public and private sectors. With this grant, ULI France, ULI Ireland, and ULI Netherlands will use city gaming to engage multiple stakeholders in resolving complex urban challenges. The game will include visualized data sets and geographical information to help players make informed decisions while reevaluating perspectives in a variety of situations. The game will bring together representatives of the public and private sectors in each of the cities to address a specific affordable housing–related challenge.
  • ULI Hong Kong: ULI YLG Hong Kong Case Competition – An ongoing controversy in Hong Kong concerns the treatment of historic buildings and how best to preserve them in such a profits-driven city. The Young Leaders of ULI Hong Kong want to draw attention to and discuss the benefits of multidisciplinary solutions to development of and design for buildings with historic architecture. They will hold a competition seeking innovative design ideas and business proposals to assist the government and the city in defining the character of the project site and generate fresh ideas in historic preservation and adaptive use within a commercial context.
  • ULI Minnesota: Regional Council of Mayors Leading into the Future – Housing affordability and transportation and their role in attracting and retaining talent have emerged as issues of critical importance. ULI Minnesota plans to host a monthly meeting—the Regional Council of Mayors—to bring in content experts from outside the region to share both national and international emerging best practices on housing and transportation in order to empower mayors with the knowledge they need to lead their communities.
  • ULI Nashville: Better Information: Better Decisions: Better Community – ULI Nashville, its leaders and members, staff from the Mayor’s Office, the planning director, the public works director, the vice mayor, and a team of Metro Council subcommittee chairs will work as a team to identify how best to raise the level of informed elected-official decision making to guide change and good growth in Nashville. The project will engage and educate Metro Council members and elevate the level of knowledge of best practices that elected officials can apply to all issues they deal with that affect the future of the region.
  • ULI North Florida: Activating Jacksonville’s Urban Waterfront – Jacksonville’s waterfront downtown is extremely underused. ULI North Florida is looking to refocus key stakeholders on redevelopment of the waterfront and how it will revitalize the downtown. ULI North Florida will work with the president of the City Council, Downtown Vision Inc., and other partners to convene a special task force of ULI members and key community leaders to strengthen communications and engagement among stakeholders.
  • ULI Philadelphia: Investing in Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs) – ULI Philadelphia will be supporting a statewide study, to be undertaken by 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, ULI Philadelphia, and other partners of Pennsylvania’s ten most populous metro regions, that will demonstrate the economic development benefits of developing—and investing in—walkable urban places, or “WalkUPS,” where younger workers, affordable housing, multiple transportation options, and diverse employment opportunities are concentrated.
  • ULI St. Louis: ULI St. Louis Forward through Ferguson – The shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014 triggered a great deal of community turmoil throughout the St. Louis region, and ULI St. Louis is looking to ways in which it can play a role in Ferguson’s recovery. ULI St. Louis will lead a coalition to act on the three Ferguson Commission Calls to Action specifically tied to real estate development in an effort to present compelling information to the development community that prompts investment through a racial equity lens in the targeted areas.
  • ULI Washington: Regional Fellows Program – To facilitate this collaboration between public and private sectors in the region, ULI Washington will create a Regional Fellows Program that brings together three local jurisdictions annually to participate in a nine-month collaboration to solve a specific challenge offered by each jurisdiction. Each of the fellowship jurisdictions will then participate in a ULI Technical Assistance Program panel, a unique ULI offering designed to address the challenge identified by each jurisdiction.

The grant recipients were selected by a review committee of renowned land use development and planning experts, including Daniel St. Clair, managing director, Spaulding & Slye Investments; Tracy Dodson, vice president, brokerage and development, Lincoln Harris; Monica Jindia, vice president, business development, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company; Steve LeBlanc, founding partner, CapRidge Partners, LLC; Bert Mathews, president, The Mathews Company; and Stephanie Wasser, executive vice president, ULI.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a 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 nearly 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, please visit uli.org  or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

contact: Robert Krueger at 202-624-7051

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