The ULI Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use in early December brought a group of public leaders from four major American cities to the UK to learn from public and private sector leaders in four different sized British cities. Founded in 2008 with a gift to ULI by New York developer Daniel Rose, the Rose Center’s mission is to support excellence in land use decision making by public officials. It’s flagship program, the Daniel Rose Fellowship, invites the mayors of four large American cities to select a team of fellows to work with the center’s staff, faculty, advisory board, and guest experts on a local land use challenge over the yearlong program.
The 2011-2012 class of Rose Fellows from Kansas City, Missouri; Oakland, California; Providence, Rhode Island; and Tampa, Florida, visited London, Liverpool, Manchester and Chester from 4-9 December and met with the leadership of the UK National Council, including ULI Europe Chief Executive Joe Montgomery. In London they toured redeveloping East End neighborhoods, visited the Olympic Stadium site, toured the Tate Modern, and spoke with representatives of the Greater London Authority and the Centre for Cities.
Most of the study tour was spent in Liverpool and Manchester, which like fellows’ own cities are transitioning from industrial to a knowledge-based economy and have many related redevelopment stories to share. In Liverpool, the Rose Fellows toured Grosvernor’s Liverpool One project and met with Chris Bliss and Rodney Holmes, then were briefed by representatives of the Liverpool Council about the city’s development and fiscal agenda. In Manchester, staff from Drivers Jonas Deloitte gave them a tour of the Media City project in Salford, then were briefed by Manchester Council Leader Sir Richard Leese, Chief Executive Sarah Todd, and Deputy Chief Executive for Performance Geoff Little. One of the highlights of the tour was dinner at the Beetham Tower in Manchester with Mary Parsons of Places for People and architect Ian Simpson, the tower’s designer.
The fellows also met with representative of the development firm Urban Splash, which has many innovative adaptive reuse projects, primarily in the north of England. The final stop of the tour was in Chester, the site of a ULI Advisory Services Panel a year earlier. The fellows met with representatives from Chester Renaissance and the Chester Council, dined with the Lord Mayor Eleanor Johnson, walked the city’s walls and toured its Roman gardens and amphitheater.
The Rose Center’s first overseas city study tour could not have succeeded without all the hard work and collaboration of ULI Europe staff, especially Sam Blake and Alex Notay, and all the time given to the fellows by the many ULI members and their contacts whom they met with during their visit. This was a great example of cross-Atlantic ULI collaboration.