Mission & Priorities

Our Mission

The mission of the Urban Land Institute is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

ULI is committed to:

  • Bringing together leaders from across the fields of real estate and land use policy to exchange best practices and serve community needs;
  • Fostering collaboration within and beyond ULI’s membership through mentoring, dialogue, and problem solving;
  • Exploring issues of urbanization, conservation, regeneration, land use, capital formation, and sustainable development;
  • Advancing land use policies and design practices that respect the uniqueness of both the built and natural environments;
  • Sharing knowledge through education, applied research, publishing, and electronic media; and
  • Sustaining a diverse global network of local practice and advisory efforts that address current and future challenges.

Established in 1936, the Institute today has more than 40,000 members worldwide, representing the entire spectrum of the land use and development disciplines. ULI relies heavily on the experience of its members. It is through member involvement and information resources that ULI has been able to set standards of excellence in development practice. The Institute has long been recognized as one of the world’s most respected and widely quoted sources of objective information on urban planning, growth, and development.

ULI Content Pillars

The ULI Content Pillars provide a bridge between our broad mission and the programs that deliver it. The Pillars represent the timeless topics or concerns of the organization, within which the program of work must fit.

01 Housing and Communities

This pillar is firmly grounded in the founding of the organization in 1936. References to housing products and policy, and specifically to the provision of affordable housing, are included in ULI’s Articles of Incorporation. ULI fundamentally believes that housing is a fundamental underpinning of healthy and thriving communities.

02 Real Estate Finance and Investment

A great deal of ULI’s value to our members and ability to meaningfully deliver our mission relates to our activities in real estate capital markets, including providing a forum for the providers and users of capital to convene. ULI’s traditional focus has been on connecting capital to real estate through the creation of value. This pillar also encompasses the market and economic factors that affect the supply and demand forces that drive land use change.

03 Sustainability and Economic Performance

Specifically referred to in ULI’s mission, and embedded in ULI’s dedication to the creation of long-term value, sustainability is more than energy efficiency or adaptation to climate change. It encompasses environmental, social, and governance issues as they relate to efficient use of resources and creating and maintaining a sustainable and resilient built environment.

04 Innovation in Development Practice

ULI’s applied research and education programs are based principally on best practices, on “what works,” and the process of real estate development remains central to the mission and to our members’ activities. We foster innovation, but look to practical experience and knowledge sharing to advance the state of the art. This pillar refers primarily to activities, at various scales, that are considered site-specific. ULI traditionally takes a case study approach, using real-world examples to illustrate broadly applicable principles and practices.

05 Shaping Successful Cities and Regions

Site-specific development occurs within a broader physical and policy context shaped by numerous actors and decision-makers. This larger context, from neighborhood to metropolitan region, is the subject of this pillar. Here, activities and issues transcend property boundaries and encompass land use planning and development policy, infrastructure, metropolitan growth strategies, and transportation issues.