Building Healthy Places at the Fall Meeting: General Sessions

Ron Finley

Ron Finley

ULI’s Fall Meeting in Chicago, Illinois last week featured a good deal of Building Healthy Places programming. In addition to dynamic concurrent session panels (read more at the links below), several General Session speakers focused on the interconnections between health and real estate, and described how ULI is mobilizing its membership to move the dial on health.

To learn more, click the links below to watch videos from these sessions. Did you attend any of these General Sessions? What did you think? Let us know by commenting below.



Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Mayor, spoke about efforts underway in Chicago that promote sustainability, healthy living, economic growth, and improved real estate values.

Watch the Video

“We have always been known as the City in a Garden…so we have embarked on a process in which we are rebuilding every playground in the city of Chicago, all 325 of them, over the next five years…in addition to that we have 150 to 170 acres of new parks under construction….The goal, after five years, every child in the city of Chicago will be within a ten minute walk of a new park….That’s both for sustainability but as you probably also know home values next to a park, and a high quality park, are much better than home values not next to that park. So it has immediate economic impact for home values in the city of Chicago.”


Ron Finley

Ron Finley, Los Angeles’ urban gangster gardener, talked about his efforts to bring healthy and nutritious food to an underserved neighborhood in Los Angeles through parkway gardening.

Watch the Video

“People ask me, ‘what was my inspiration? Why did you do this phenomenal, amazing thing like grow food?’ My inspiration? My inspiration was malnourished children. My inspiration was heart disease, asthma, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer. That was my inspiration. They inspired me. But the biggest inspiration of all for me? The biggest disease in these neighborhoods, throughout the urban areas in the United States of America, is lack of opportunity. Lack of opportunity is a disease here.”


Lynn Thurber

Lynn Thurber, ULI Chairman, described the ULI value proposition of leadership, impact, and knowledge sharing and ways to enhance this value proposition going forward, including the new Building Healthy Places initiative.

Watch the Video

“The need for healthier living environment is certainly well documented…Declining health is connected, directly or indirectly, to land use decisions. Decisions that we, as ULI members, can help change through our leadership. We will do this by harnessing the power of ULI’s global network to spread the message that we can build our way to healthy communities.”


James Curtis III

James Curtis III, ULI Foundation Chairman, spoke about the far-reaching impact of ULI and tough issues that impact people’s lives that ULI is currently tackling.

Watch the Video

“ULI is taking on the tough issues that affect people’s lives. Issues like sustainability; driving real estate and land use innovation; lowering our demand per capita for all forms of energy; improving the health of people; providing a full continuum of housing choices in every community; infrastructure; and shaping cities and regions. These are not feel-good causes, these are quality of life causes. These are making a better world causes. These are improving the human condition. These are causes that will define the future…ULI’s involvement in these causes is leading to better choices.”


Other Highlights from the Fall Meeting

Read about Thursday sessions with leading ULI thinkers and luminaries here.

Read about Thursday sessions on office and residential development here.


Keep the Conversation Going

Join us at the ULI conference Building Healthy Places: Unlocking the Value, Feb 21-22 in Los Angeles. Register today!

One comment on “Building Healthy Places at the Fall Meeting: General Sessions

  1. Pingback: Building Healthy Places at the Fall Meeting: Concurrent Sessions on Office and Residential - ULI New York

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