FY 2016 Urban Innovation Grant Winners

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SAN FRANCISCO (October 6, 2015) – Fourteen grants totaling $219,000 have been awarded to Urban Land Institute (ULI) district and national councils through ULI’s Urban Innovation Grant programme. Only district and national councils are eligible to apply for the grants, which range from $5,000 to $25,000. The recipients were announced today at ULI’s Fall Meeting at the Moscone Center.

Funding for the grant programme comes from the ULI Foundation Annual Fund, supported by individual contributions from ULI’s global membership. The Annual Fund supports local ULI projects that foster collaboration between the public and private sector around responsible land use with the goal of building thriving, healthy communities worldwide. The grantees are tackling a range of complex land use challenges that touch upon housing, economic development, urban design, and the intersection of health and the built environment within their communities.

“There were a number of creative and impactful proposals submitted this year that have the potential to change the lives of individuals and make a difference in communities around the globe,” said Jury Chairman Thomas W. Toomey, chairman and chief executive of UDR, Inc. “We are incredibly grateful to the 28 district and national councils that submitted applications this year, and I am personally grateful to my fellow jurors in understanding the scope and breadth of each proposal. The fourteen projects that were selected as Urban Innovation Grant winners will go a long way towards increasing public sector engagement with ULI, creating healthier and more vibrant communities, and developing innovative public-private partnerships that are so vital to the future and sustainable growth of cities worldwide.”

The recipients of the 2016 ULI Urban Innovation Grants are as follows:

ULI Brisbane: 2016 Brisbane Urban Innovation Design Challenge
ULI Brisbane’s Young Leaders Group will partner with the Brisbane City Council to develop and launch an Urban Innovation Design Competition aimed at land use professionals under the age of 35. Participants will submit ideas for a designated key public space within the city of Brisbane that enhances its social, economic, and cultural value and supports Brisbane’s goal to become the next premier Australian city.

ULI Colorado: Before It Is Too Late: Advancing Affordable Housing in Colorado
To address the lack of affordable housing in Colorado, ULI Colorado will collaborate with local, state, and federal partner organizations to conduct original research on affordable housing best practices and launch an outreach/ education campaign to publicize its findings.

ULI Hawaii: Changing Public Perception of TOD through Social Media
To counter negative public perceptions towards density and transit-oriented development (TOD), ULI Hawaii will launch a social media campaign aimed at policy-makers and the public about the health and environmental benefits of compact, transit-oriented, walkable communities. The campaign will include the production of high-quality images and video to publicize density and TOD’s benefits.

ULI Houston: Suburban Sunbelt Communities Built for Adaptability
ULI Houston will partner with the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University on a research project focused on helping auto-centric, sprawling suburban developments of Sunbelt cities like Houston better adapt to changes in consumer preferences, climate, and market demand that now favor dense, sustainable, and walkable communities. The findings will be presented at the ULI Houston’s Suburban Marketplace Conference in 2016.

ULI Idaho: Moving People Summit
ULI Idaho will host the Moving People Summit, a one-day conference of city and county policymakers, non-profit organizations, and the public focused on changing Idaho’s approach to street and highway design in a way that prioritizes moving people over moving cars. Experts on multimodal transportation, pedestrian-oriented street design, and a new set of standards focused on the safety and health and people will be invited to give presentations at the summit.

ULI Memphis: Regional Summit
In conjunction with the MidSouth Mayor’s Council, ULI Memphis will host a one-day Regional Summit, which will bring together more than 200 public and private sector leaders to discuss land use, quality growth, sustainable development and its impact on regional economic development.

ULI Netherlands: Innovation in Urban Regeneration
ULI Netherlands will create a special master class and a public/private sector forum focused on innovation districts at Provada, a major real estate fair that occurs each year in the Netherlands. The forum will discuss best practices for building an innovation district with the aim of creating an innovation hub in Rotterdam that attracts entrepreneurs and venture capital.

ULI North Florida: Downtown Jacksonville Public Parklet Program
ULI North Florida will partner with Downton Vision, Inc. to develop a public parklet program in the city of Jacksonville, which seeks to create more pedestrian-oriented space in its auto-centric downtown. ULI North Florida aims to develop a program manual that addresses design, site selection, and regulatory challenges when creating parklets. The manual will assist local community groups and businesses develop parklets in an effort to enhance the livability of downtown Jacksonville.

ULI Pittsburgh: Better Busway, Phase Two
To sustain the momentum behind the city’s recent renaissance, ULI Pittsburgh seeks to explore options for creating more transit-oriented development opportunities along the East Busway, a populous and socioeconomically diverse transit corridor. The assessment and recommendations will serve as a blueprint for the region’s three other transit lines.

ULI Poland: Cities and Investment—Optimizing Opportunities
In partnership with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, ULI Poland will host a one-day workshop with the city of Poznań to discuss and educate officials about opportunities for accessing capital for real estate and infrastructure projects. Workshop participants will gain a better understanding of public and private financing mechanisms, identifying sources of investment for physical assets, and connecting with private investors. This workshop would be replicable for cities throughout Poland that are facing similar funding challenges and gaps in information.

ULI San Francisco: Training Partnership with the City of Oakland
As Oakland continues to become a popular destination for young professionals, civic and business leaders say the city needs to create a greater sense of place. ULI San Francisco will train staff members of the city of Oakland on best practices for managing public/private partnerships with the goal of attracting high-quality development that enhances the city’s livability.

ULI Singapore: Disrupting Mobility—Car Share Singapore: Urban Mobility Options for Future Cities
Although Singapore has been a leader in urban transportation mobility, it still devotes significant amount of its limited land and resources to building roads. Emerging technology and socioeconomic trends favor car-less and car-light lifestyles. Combined with the government’s priority to reduce private, auto-oriented transport, the trend towards active forms of transportation offers an opportunity to reshape travel patterns and choices. Using the Marina Bay development as a model, ULI Singapore will conduct workshops and research on the feasibility of and strategies for a car-free future.

ULI South Carolina: Inclusivity Leadership Initiative Focused on the Public Sector
ULI South Carolina will launch the Inclusivity Leadership Initiative to educate public officials on how to build healthy, prosperous communities through regional workshops over the course of two years. The initiative was launched so that public officials and policymakers are better equipped to face the opportunities and challenges of South Carolina’s thriving real estate market.

ULI New York, ULI Northern New Jersey, ULI Westchester/Fairfield: ULI Tri-State Land Use Council
In the spirit of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s OneNYC plan that calls for greater regional collaboration among municipalities in the New York metro region, three councils from the tri-state (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) area will convene a forum for public officials in planning, transportation, and economic development to explore key regional land use issues and to find opportunities for collaborative solutions.

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 36,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.