Urban Land Institute

About ULI’s Urban Resilience Program

The Urban Land Institute’s Urban Resilience program provides ULI members, the public, and communities across the United States with information on how buildings, development, and cities can be more resilient in the face of climate change and other environmental vulnerabilities. The program seeks to provide technical assistance, advance knowledge, and enhance community resilience, with a focus on the built environment, real estate markets, and the land use policy sector.

Because resilience is an inherently interdisciplinary topic, ULI is uniquely positioned to contribute to the field, given the broad range of professions represented in its membership. The Urban Resilience program brings a pragmatic, implementation-focused approach to discussions about resilience and facilitates strategies in order to do the following:

  • Provide communities with strategic guidance on how to reduce the vulnerability of their residents, properties, and businesses, spearheading the implementation of new policies, programs, and infrastructure investments;
  • Further the knowledge available on resilient land use, development, and design, taking into account opportunities relevant at the city, district, and site scales;
  • Explore the business case for cities and the private sector to invest in resilient development approaches; and
  • Increase market awareness of resilient development approaches through outreach and involvement of ULI members.

Areas of Work

The Urban Resilience program is funded through generous grant support from The JPB Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, with additional support from the New York Community Trust. The program comprises four main areas of work:

  • Panels: Resilience Advisory Services panels bring together ULI member experts in the real estate and development fields to propose resilient solutions addressing complex local land use scenarios. The process involves a five-day workshop at which panelists engage with community stakeholders and develop recommendations for holistic and resilient approaches to land use that will decrease community vulnerability to climate-related risks and capitalize on opportunities for improved environmental performance, economic development, and quality of life. Cities interested in hosting ULI for a resilience-focused Advisory Services Panel should email [email protected].
  • Research: ULI draws from the experience of its members and partners to produce research for the real estate and land use community. Current research projects focus on stormwater management, green infrastructure, and the value generated through investment in resilient design and development practices. Research is also ongoing; this website’s library of briefs will continue to be developed. To nominate a project, email [email protected].
  • Convenings: The Urban Resilience program brings together ULI members, leading resilience stakeholders, and city officials nationwide to share best practices at standalone meetings and at ULI’s Fall and Spring Meetings. In addition, the annual Resilient Cities Summit, cohosted with the National League of Cities and the U.S. Green Building Council, convenes a national group of mayors, senior city officials, and experts to discuss sustainable land use strategies, implementation techniques, tools, and financing strategies that can advance resilience in cities.
  • Local projects spearheaded by ULI District Councils: Resilience is best tackled at the local level. The Urban Resilience program supports ULI district councils in carrying out local, member-initiated resilience projects, including technical assistance panels, research initiatives, community engagement projects, design workshops, demonstration projects, mapping projects, and others.

Recent Publications and Reports

The Urban Resilience program conducts research on resilient development, design, and land use strategies, focusing on the business case for resilience and drawing from the expertise and involvement of ULI members.

A list of recent publications follows. (Visit the More Resilience Resources page for a full list of publications produced by the Urban Resilience program.)

10 Principles for Building Resilience summarizes key themes posed by ULI’s national resilience work since Hurricane Sandy. The report considers the economic, environmental, and social factors that contribute to resilience and how the concept of resilience translates to the private sector, municipal decision makers, and communities.

Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate explores the real estate sector’s growing participation in stormwater management, analyzes trends in policy, and introduces value-generating opportunities for real estate developers.

Returns on Resilience: The Business Case highlights real estate development projects that employ best practices in resilient design and have seen demonstrable returns on investment.