ULI CEO Patrick L. Phillips delivered the following holiday message to members.
With the holiday season in full swing and 2012 coming to a close, I want to thank you for your continued support of the Urban Land Institute. Your involvement and investment in ULI has helped it grow into a world-class organization, and it is an honor for me and all of the staff to serve you.
Our organization’s 75th anniversary year has been marked by an extraordinary expansion of our reach and influence on a global basis, an accomplishment made possible by your belief in ULI to make a positive difference. We’ve met with new partners and brought in new members from different places around the world — all of whom share ULI’s mission of providing leadership in the responsible use of land.
A major focus throughout the year has been rethinking urban development for the 21st century. We’ve been taking a close look at the economic, social and environmental issues that are changing the business of city building, examining the ramifications for the industry and how to prepare for change. This initiative has involved the three core functions of ULI – convening, education, and giving back. We’ve convened thousands of members and other experts from all over the globe to get their best thinking on building better cities for the future, in the process accumulating and aggregating content that is data-rich, timely and predictive. And, we’ve benefited greatly from our members’ commitment to volunteerism that – through advisory service panels or myriad other ways — is helping our communities adapt and adjust to the changing environment.
In this time of redeveloping established markets and developing emerging ones, ULI’s impact has perhaps never held more potential. We’re making a difference globally and locally. We’re leading change globally with new partners such as the World Economic Forum, and new thought leaders such as those at our first-ever Asia real estate summit in Beijing last spring, and our global cities summit in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy this past summer. We’ve expanded our reach in the environmental arena with the creation of the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance, whose global membership is committed to reducing energy use and carbon emissions.
And, we’re leading change at the local level, where our district councils and national councils are front and center, influencing how our urban areas are growing. As part of the 75th anniversary program, ULI funded 45 District and National Council programs with Urban Innovation grants totaling $750,000. The grants were provided by the ULI Foundation to catalyze new ways for ULI to lead locally.
For instance, ULI Boston produced a report on the city’s congested transit system and the impact on future economic growth; ULI San Diego co-hosted a conference with the Aspen Institute on using arts and culture to foster economic development; ULI Nashville prepared a comprehensive assessment of the city’s current and future transportation needs; and Florida’s five district councils collaborated to host a statewide conference focusing on building better communities through public-private partnerships.
This is the type of on-the-ground impact that provides new insights and perspectives that ultimately lead to better decisions about how our cities grow. Without question, the impact ULI makes locally strengthens the impact we make globally. Our success is measured by what we accomplish city-by-city, region-by-region, around the world.
What we achieved this year – through initiatives global and local – represents great progress in making ULI matter to more people in more places. In Houston, graduate students in the ULI Hines Student Urban Design Competition created a makeover for an obsolete post office. In Singapore, ULI participated in a World Cities Summit hosted by the Centre for Liveable Cities. In Pasadena, an advisory panel of ULI Governors recommended new uses for the Rose Bowl. In London, a ULI forum examined leveraging the Olympic Games site to revive the surrounding neighborhood.
Each of ULI’s programs, products and services contributes to its unique role in city building – as the one organization whose work fills the gap between macro-level concepts too abstract for practical use, and micro-level details too specific for broad applicability. No other group is as well equipped to turn access to thought leaders from Beijing to Berlin to Boston into the practical and tactical take-home value that is ULI’s hallmark.
Thanks to each of you, ULI is trusted and respected around the world. With your help, we can ensure that as our organization grows, it remains the global voice for responsible land use. During this holiday season, please consider a donation to the ULI Foundation as part of your giving plans. Your support can help turn big ideas and bold visions into reality.
Best wishes for a healthy, prosperous new year,
Patrick L. Phillips
Chief Executive Officer
Urban Land Institute