Redevelopment of the City's Approx. 5.5-Acre Ryan Drive
The City of Austin seeks to sell or lease its approximately 5.5-acre property located at 6909 Ryan Drive
WASHINGTON (October 30, 2020) – A new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) highlights the devastating impact of wildfires on communities and how the real estate industry can best prepare for and respond to them. ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by more than 45,000 members dedicated to providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.
The report, Firebreak: Wildfire Resilience Strategies for Real Estate, published with support from the Kresge Foundation, has been released during the United States’ worst wildfire season on record. In California alone, four million acres have burned in 2020, more than double the previous record for any year. The August Complex fire itself has burned over a million acres in the state. Oregon and Washington are also among the states experiencing unprecedented wildfire seasons, a symptom of worsening climate change, as is Colorado, where multiple fires have ignited within just 15 miles of Boulder. Firebreak shows real estate developers, urban planners, and public leaders are increasingly aware of how land use practicescan exacerbate wildfires, their concern about the consequences of wildfires, and how they are implementing asset and community scale resilience efforts.
“As we’ve seen in the west, the devastating impact of wildfires is continuing to increase year after year, and the real estate industry needs to be prepared to adapt to this new normal,” said ULI chief executive officer W. Edward Walter. “This new report, published in conjunction with our friends at the Kresge Foundation, lays out in clear detail how the industry can prepare for the future while showcasing projects and policies that have successfully incorporated wildfire resilience to reduce risk to communities.”
Among the key takeaways in the report:
The report points to a broad range of options to mitigate wildfire damages and increase community health and safety, including structure hardening, defensible space and vegetation management, strategic density in lower-risk areas, hazard-informed comprehensive and regional planning, and tenant and community engagement.
Firebreak also profiles developments, policies, and programs that have successfully incorporated wildfire resilience strategies, including:
“Once the worst of the 2020 fire season is behind us, it’s time to take a long, hard look at how we can make our communities safer from, and more resilient to, future wildfires,” says Molly McCabe, president at Hayden Tanner and ULI member reviewer of the new report. “In addition to preparing their own developments, the real estate industry can partner with communities to make planning and development decisions—before the fires start—to give communities the best chance to thrive.”
The funding provided by the Kresge Foundation for Wildfire Resilience was contributed as part of a grant to the ULI Foundation, which provides philanthropic support for ULI initiatives to create and sustain thriving communities worldwide.
The report, Firebreak: Wildfire Resilience Strategies for Real Estate, is available to download on ULI’s Knowledge Finder platform.