The Kresge Foundation Renews Commitment to ULI’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, Multi-Year Grants Total $3.375 Million

12/03/2018, Toa Baja, PR—ULI Advisory Services Panel, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Advisory Panel members accompany mayor of Toa Baja, “Betito” Márquez (center, light slacks), on a field visit of diverse areas of the municipality. In this image they visit the municipality’s bank of Rio La Plata. Puerto Rico

The Kresge Foundation has awarded a $600,000 grant to the ULI Foundation to support ULI’s work in climate change resilience and sustainability through the ULI Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance. With this continued support, ULI can maximize its impact, helping cities and buildings be more resilient to the impacts of climate change, with a focus on supporting vulnerable and low-income communities.

Kresge has been a long-time partner with ULI and helped establish the Urban Resilience program in 2014. This new grant builds on Kresge’s past support of ULI efforts to provide site-specific resilient land use and development strategies to American communities and promote strategies to increase energy efficiency in the built environment.

Climate change creates complex challenges that put people, businesses, and property at risk, with low-income communities hit the hardest. Failure to address and mitigate climate risks threatens the wellbeing of the built environment, creating serious consequences for the health, viability, and economic vitality of our communities. Proactively addressing the significant causes of greenhouse gas emissions and finding strategies to increase the resilience of American cities will help strengthen communities while creating new opportunities for sustainability and inclusion.

To address both sides of climate risk — the root cause in carbon emissions from fossil fuel energy and resource use, and the unavoidable climate impacts we are already witnessing — ULI’s Urban Resilience Program and Greenprint Center for Building Performance work together through the ULI Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance (CSEP). Through this work, ULI strives to reduce the negative impact of the built environment on our planet and increase the sustainability of our urban areas — creating stronger communities for all people.

Kresge has been a long-time partner with ULI; its support has been instrumental in building ULI’s resilience program. For almost a century, Kresge has fulfilled its mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice.

With Kresge’s support, ULI has provided site-specific resilient land use and development strategies for numerous communities and has engaged thousands of ULI members in the process, through technical assistance, research, convenings, events, webinars and volunteer service opportunities. “With this grant, we will help cites and the real estate industry develop strategies to build more resilient buildings and communities, and to pursue strategies to decarbonize our built environment,” said Billy Grayson, executive director for CSEP.

Katharine Burgess, vice president of ULI’s Urban Resilience program, said that, with generous support from Kresge, ULI “assists cities through our Advisory Services and Technical Assistance Panels, delivers national research on key topics related to climate adaptation and hosts convenings nationally and in partnership with District Councils. We are excited to build on our past work, reach more communities and increase ULI member access to research and best practices on climate resilience.”

ULI’s Urban Resilience program is focused on how cities, buildings, and communities can be more prepared for the impacts of climate change. A central goal is ensuring that development, land use strategies, and infrastructure investments not only make communities less vulnerable, but also strengthen cities overall, enhancing environmental performance, economic opportunity, and social cohesion. The program’s on-going work supported by the Kresge Foundation has focused in particular on how low-income and vulnerable communities can be more resilient, given that these communities are most at risk from the impacts of climate change.

ULI’s Greenprint Center is a worldwide alliance of real estate owners, investors, and partners collectively and voluntarily committed to leading the global real estate community toward value-enhancing, carbon-reduction strategies. Through measurement, benchmarking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, Greenprint strives to prove the business case for sustainability and help the real estate industry reduce its environmental footprint.

Marta Schantz, senior vice president for the Greenprint Center, looks forward to the continued partnership with Kresge to reduce carbon and build value across the built environment. “As we work with members on a path towards net-zero carbon emissions, this Kresge support will enable our programs to continue and thrive as we address the landlord/tenant split incentive for sustainability fit-outs, encourage city/real estate partnerships on local climate policy, and promote the business case for energy efficiency.”

Across a variety of mission impact programs, Kresge has been a consistent partner with ULI for close to a decade. In addition to generous support for programs within CSEP, Kresge is a major supporter for the Creative Placemaking Initiative, focused on developing and sharing best practices of integrating arts, culture, and community-engaged design into revitalization of corridors and communities. Kresge has also funded the ULI Pathways to Inclusion program, ULI’s initiative to build a more diverse audience of real estate and land use professionals at our major meetings and through locally-driven retention programs. This most recent grant brings the total amount of support Kresge has provided to ULI to more than $3.375 million.

About the Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute is a global, non-profit real estate organization whose work is driven by its multidisciplinary membership. 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 45,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development. For more information, please visit or follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

About the Urban Land Institute Foundation

As a charitable organization, classified under 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service code, the Foundation’s purpose and mission is to financially support and sustain ULI’s education and research programs. In the face of rapid and widespread changes in demographics, populations, economic drivers, technology, and the natural environment, the ULI mission has never been more compelling or relevant. With increased and expanded philanthropic investments in the Foundation, ULI is able to honor its commitment to the cities of the world.

About the Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit

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