As the world confronts a health crisis layered on top of an evolving climate crisis, the need for immediate- and longer-term actions that address disparate impacts on low-income and vulnerable communities, and that forge a path toward a future in which all people can thrive, is clear. ULI received a three-year grant renewal from The JPB Foundation to support work to engage real estate and land use leaders to work collaboratively with others to create communities which are greener, more resilient, and more equitable.
The Urban Land Institute’s (ULI’s) members—including private-sector real estate leaders as well as public-sector policymakers focused on the built environment—are essential stakeholders in the effort to build a more sustainable, equitable, and healthy future for all people. Work under this new grant will be focused on improving park access through innovations in partnerships and funding and enhancing community resilience to extreme weather events.
Through research, case studies, Advisory Services panels, and partnerships with District Councils, this work will elevate the importance of parks as critical infrastructure in communities for resilience and health and highlight strategies to mitigate long-term climate impacts such as sea-level rise, heat, and drought. Together with members and partners, ULI will help communities across the country implement high-quality parks and other resilience-focused infrastructure in ways that enhance community health and racial and social equity.
This new grant will build upon ULI’s existing work and previous funding from The JPB Foundation, which supported programming and partnerships focused on equitable access to parks and open spaces. Recent publications include Pavement to Parks: Transforming Spaces for Cars into Places for People, Successful Partnerships for Parks: Collaborative Approaches to Advance Equitable Access to Open Space, and Scorched: Extreme Heat and Real Estate. In addition, Advisory Services panels and technical assistance focused on resilience and equitable access to parks have been held in over a dozen communities around the country. Learn more at uli.org/parks and uli.org/resilience.
The current pandemic has helped illuminate stark disparities in access to parks and recreational opportunities and in community resilience and is shining a light on overall deep-rooted racial and social inequality and inequity that has persisted in American society for too long. With its diverse member base, ULI is uniquely poised to continue engaging cross-sector leaders to drive positive and equitable improvements to health and resilience in cities across the United States.