ULI Receives $800,000 Grant from the Kresge Foundation to Support Institute’s Community Resiliency Program

The Maritime Center in New Haven during Hurricane Irene.

The Maritime Center in New Haven during Hurricane Irene.

For more information, contact: Trisha Riggs at 202-624-7086

The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use and sustainable community building, has been awarded an $800,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to support the institute’s pursuit of urban design and development practices that are more resilient and adaptable to the impact of climate change.

ULI’s community resiliency program explores how issues related to climate change are affecting the real estate industry and reshaping urban growth patterns. Through the grant from The Kresge Foundation, ULI will leverage the substantial expertise of its members to provide guidance on community building in a way that responds to inevitable climate change and sea level rise, and helps preserve the environment, boost economic prosperity, and foster a high quality of life. This integrated program of work, which will be conducted in 2014 and 2015, seeks to:

  • Protect the health and well-being of citizens, as well as the economic vitality of communities nationwide, by providing long-range resiliency planning advice to vulnerable communities in six different geographic areas of the United States;
  • Focus attention on the urgency of long-range strategic resilience planning in the face of climate change by convening thought leaders and disseminating their insights and recommendations throughout ULI’s extensive member network;
  • Influence urban planning, investment, architecture, insurance, engineering and design decision makers who impact the built environment through the preparation and distribution of independent research on creating resilient and adaptable communities; and
  • Create a series of education programs targeted to ULI’s district and national councils to advance resiliency based on new research, best practices and lessons learned.

“Climate change has dramatically altered approaches to development in the twenty-first century. Rebuilding, as well as new building, is increasingly being viewed as an opportunity to reduce disaster-related risk and increase community resilience, as well as enhance livability and protect natural resources,” said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “The generous support from The Kresge Foundation will greatly enhance the scale and scope of ULI’s work in this area. We are thrilled to have been chosen by the foundation to help advance knowledge of the relationship between climate change and land use, and we look forward to forging industry partnerships that advance best practices in community resiliency.”

ULI has a long history of advising communities on developing and redeveloping in ways that are environmentally conscious, economically sound, and which provide community-wide benefits. As recently as July 2013, ULI convened a panel of the nation’s foremost authorities on real estate and urban planning to evaluate local and federal plans for strengthening resiliency in the Northeast communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, and to offer guidance on rebuilding efforts in those areas. Candid insights and observations from these experts formed the basis for After Sandy: Advancing Strategies for Long-Term Resilience and Adaptability, which is a practical set of 23 recommendations focused on four areas — land use and development; infrastructure, technology and capacity; finance, investment and insurance; and leadership and governance. The report is intended to be a guide for vulnerable communities worldwide, and its findings will inform the work of ULI’s community resiliency program.

Program activities will include:

  • ULI advisory panels conducted in six communities, each of which will be chosen based on 1) the community’s long-range resilience challenges and vulnerabilities to weather and sea-level changes, and 2) the opportunity for the results to be applied to other communities with similar vulnerabilities.
  • A national convening of leaders in urban resiliency and sustainability, with the goal of providing policy and practice recommendations to advance action at national, state and local levels.
  • Research to promote community resiliency, drawing upon ULI’s experts in the areas of infrastructure, housing, capital markets, climate change, land use and energy. The institute will engage one visiting fellow in 2014 and one in 2015 to work with ULI’s senior resident fellows to explore resiliency topics for broad application.
  • Funding for three district council grants specifically aimed at developing local programming to promote resilience strategies and practices.
  • And, forging new partnerships with other organizations committed to community resiliency, and strengthening existing partnerships.

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a 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 more than 30,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit. In 2012, the Board of Trustees approved 410 awards totaling $130.5 million; $150.3 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. For more information, visit kresge.org.

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