Urban Land Institute Announces $86,000 In Funding Through Community Action Grants Program

Four Winners of Semi-Annual Awards Announced at ULI Real Estate Summit in Boston

For more information, contact:
Trisha Riggs at 202-624-7086 or Email: priggs@uli.org
Robert Krueger at 202-624-7051 or Email: robert.krueger@uli.org

WASHINGTON (April 15, 2010) – Four grants have been awarded in the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) semi-annual funding of its community action grants program. Through the program, created over five years ago, the ULI Foundation Fund has raised money to be distributed as grants to district councils or ULI members on behalf of nonprofit organizations for entrepreneurial programs that aim to improve urban growth in their communities.

Grants are awarded for creative, innovative community outreach or education programs. During the past five years, the ULI Foundation has awarded 62 community action grants totaling $1.36 million to district councils in the United States and beyond. ULI awards grants twice a year and announces each at its annual ULI Fall Meeting and Spring Council Forum.

“The Community Action Grants are an important component of ULI’s efforts at the local level in providing civic engagement and leadership,” said ULI Foundation President Richard M. Rosan. “This program represents the spirit of cooperation and collaboration at the local level that is so critical for sustainable communities.”

Grants totaling $86,000 were awarded to these four district councils; the winners were announced at the ULI Real Estate Summit at the Spring Council Forum in Boston.

  • Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and Recycle-a-Bicycle (in partnership with ULI New York Young Leaders): This proposed 14-mile route for bicycle and pedestrian traffic would connect 12 distinct neighborhoods from Greenpoint to Sunset Park, as well as new waterfront developments and four regional parks. Implementation of the Greenway will require the cooperation of multiple stakeholders. With this grant, the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) and Recycle-a-Bicycle (RAB), in partnership with the ULI New York’s Young Leaders Group, will develop a charrette for a Technical Advisory Committee made up of representatives from over 50 stakeholders. The charrette will launch a working dialogue examining a wide range of land use issues including, but not limited to, how to add value to properties through the addition of a public amenity and how to provide transportation alternatives that increase job accessibility and minimize environmental impacts.
  • ULI North Asia: The ULI North Asia Executive Committee will lead ULI North Asia as it undertakes a study of recent large-scale developments in Hong Kong and, through benchmarking against international and regional case studies, identify ways to ensure creation of environmentally friendly, pedestrian- and transit-oriented developments. One objective of the study is to develop an alternative development approach that has more street-level interface and is better integrated into the surrounding area within the district. The study will seek to formulate a new development typology this is amicable to both the developers and to the community and surrounding districts, and that improves the quality of life of the residents and adds long-term value to the city. This innovative study offers an avenue to raise ULI’s profile in Asia and shape a more sustainable future for Hong Kong and cities in the region.
  • ULI Philadelphia: Infill Philadelphia is a five-year, three-phase initiative that brings together design practioners, community development experts, policy makers, funders, and the media to address urban infill development. The Community Design Collaborative, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, and ULI Philadelphia are partnering to complete Phase III of the initiative, titled Infill Philadelphia: Industrial Sites. This project consists of four program components. The first three are a one-day interim reuse charrette held in fall 2009, a Retooling Industrial Sites Exhibit of over 50 industrial reuse best practices held in February and March 2010, and a concurrent design challenge matching three volunteer design firms with members from community-based nonprofits and manufacturers to form teams that develop conceptual designs for industrial reuse plans for three local sites. The fourth component, an exhibit showcasing the results of all three phases of Infill Philadelphia, will be held in fall 2010 and a final companion publication will be released.
  • ULI Washington: In 2005, ULI Washington held a Reality Check event in Washington, D.C., that produced a set of principles that continue to provide a roadmap for future development in the region. Implicit in these principles is a transition from automobile-oriented development to creation of places that allow and encourage use of mass transit and walking. As a key next step in the Reality Check process, ULI Washington, in partnership with the Brookings Institution and Virginia Tech University, will convene a pair of advisory panel meetings to inform development of an operational definition of, and performance metrics for, walkable urban places (WUPs) and to produce a white paper summarizing the results of the panels.. As an educational component, a white paper reporting the preliminary findings will be distributed at walking tours to be offered at the ULI Fall Meeting being held this October in Washington. These results will be expanded by anticipated Brookings research to be completed by April 2011 to provide a roadmap for how to spur the creation and growth of WUPs.

The four winners were selected by a review committee chaired by Stephen P. Navarro, president, Furman Co., Inc. in Greenville, South Carolina; Alice M. Connell, principle, AM Connell Associates, LLC in New York City; William A. Gilchrist, senior associate, AECOM in Los Angeles; Robert C. Lieber, deputy mayor of economic development, Office of the Mayor, New York City; and Gregory J. Vogel; chief executive officer, Land Advisors Organization in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In selecting the winners, the jury sought projects that reflected innovative, new ideas; measurable outcomes; a prominent role for ULI in the project; models that could be applied to other places; and projects that focused on ULI’s three core areas: sustainability, infrastructure and workforce/affordable housing.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (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 nearly 33,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.