Supporting Smart Urban Development: Successful Investing in Density

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This report is the result of collaboration between a powerful group of innovative real estate investors and developers that are actively building the cities of the future. Collectively, this group owns or manages over US $300 billion worth of real estate assets worldwide. In addition to launching the report, these companies have released a statement committing to champion further understanding of the opportunities and benefits of well-managed and well-serviced densification.

The research underpinning the report was initiated by the Urban Land Institute, a global membership organisation dedicated to creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide, and the Coalition for Urban Transitions, a global project working to provide national governments with the evidence they need to support low-carbon and inclusive urban development.

We began this project with an ambitious objective: to evaluate the impact of compact, connected urban development on real estate investment returns and on carbon emissions. We hoped to learn more about the areas of common interest between investors, city residents, and the national and local governments tasked with making our cities run well for everyone.

The research demonstrates for the first time how investors as well as citizens benefit from compact urban forms with good public transport connections, shared green spaces, and a mix of housing, shops, services, and businesses rather than urban sprawl. The research findings support the understanding and practices of leading investors in this field. We hope it will help a much wider group of real estate firms make smart decisions about where and how to invest to make an attractive, resilient, risk-adjusted return – and at the same time support efforts on climate change and sustainable development.

We hope this report inspires cities and investors alike to work together to improve urban form and function in ways that promote good density.


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