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

ULI Cited in New Kresge Report on Professional Organizations and Climate Change


ULI’s work to promote sustainable, resilient communities was cited in Professional Societies and Climate Change, a new report…

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ULI Baltimore Assists Annapolis with Protecting Historic Assets from Sea-Level Rise

Urban flooding is common in the historic city of Annapolis, Maryland's state capital (photo courtesy of the city of Annapolis).

ULI Baltimore provided expertise for the city of Annapolis's Weather it Together Program to raise awareness of the…

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White House Conference Spotlights Importance of Building for Resilience, Says ULI

500px Photo ID: 121470211 - Stairs to Atlantis. Shot on film (Fujifilm Superia 400) on the legendary Canon AE-1P.

Today’s White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes will help greatly to raise awareness of the critical need…

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St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana—Advisory Services Panel

St. Tammany Parish, is located on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. St. Tammany Parish (Parish) is separated from…

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Scaling up Sustainability: A Q&A with Sarene Marshall

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ULI's Center for Sustainability executive director discusses how the Center can provide thought leadership on the critical nexus…

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2014 Annual Report

Annual Report website home page

ULI has published its 2014 Annual Report in a digital-first format now available at annualreport.uli.org

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Resilience Videos

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