Urban Resilience Program

Urban Resilience Program

After Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, more focus has been placed on how communities can prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events.

Increasingly ominous predictions from climate scientists suggest that adverse events related to climate change pose increasing risk to communities worldwide. Furthermore, the world is becoming increasingly urban, and our cities tend to lie in particularly vulnerable areas. From sea level rise to heat waves, from storm surge to drought, the adverse events threaten the built environment in ways that have serious consequences for the health, viability, and economic vitality of our future.

The Urban Resilience Program works to help communities prepare for increased climate risk in ways that allow a quicker, safer return to normalcy after an event but also an ability to thrive going forward. Through careful land use planning, wise investment in infrastructure, and smart building design, we can protect the value we’ve created in our cities and be more robust when facing adverse events.

Areas of Work

The Urban Resilience Program is funded through a generous grant from the Kresge Foundation and comprises four main areas of work:

  • Panels:  ULI will conduct six Advisory Services panels in communities around the country focusing on resilience planning
  • Research: ULI will draw from the experience of its members and partners to produce research on resilience that is strategic and relevant for the real estate and land use community.
  • Convenings:  ULI hosted the Building the Resilient City conference in September 2014 to bring expert practitioners together with urban planners, local governments, and land use professionals to build practical knowledge on resilience and adaptation strategies. This conference was partly supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
  • Grants:  ULI will award grants through its District Councils to further resilience planning and implementation in their communities.

More from the Program

Policy Perspective: Urban Resilience Part II


ULI resources to build resilience in the face of extreme weather and climate change.

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Insurance Industry Needs Support From Real Estate Sector and Governments to Mitigate Effects of Climate Change on the Built Environment


A new white paper by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) finds that while the insurance industry is a…

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Policy Perspective: Urban Resilience Part I


Rebuild by Design, ULI’s Resilient Cities Conference, and Coastal Development

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White Paper: Insurance Industry and Climate Change

Pumping floodwater into River Parrett, Somerset, England, during 2014 floods. Credit: LA(Photo) Rhys O’Leary/MOD

What the Real Estate Industry Needs to Know about the Insurance Industry and Climate Change.

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Highlights from the Building the Resilient City Conference

Building the Resilient City

Watch videos and read articles from the conference to learn how resilience and climate risk affect land use…

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New ULI Report, Housing in America: Integrating Housing, Health, and Resilience, Looks at the Link Between Strengthening Community Resilience and Building Healthy Places


A new report from the Urban Land Institute, Housing in America: Integrating Housing, Health, and Resilience in a…

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Resilience Videos

Image Gallery

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