FY17 Urban Innovation Grant Winners

For fiscal year 2017, the ULI Foundation Annual Fund awarded $100,000 to District and National Councils for innovative projects that engage members and further ULI’s mission at the local level. Ten projects were selected for funding among 19 proposals requesting $248,000.

ULI Central Florida
Encore Entrepreneur Initiative & the Built Environment
Grant amount:
Building for Change

To help respond to the growing number of retirees taking on “encore” careers and self-created entrepreneurial endeavors in Florida, ULI Central Florida will team up with the four other Florida district councils to better inform stakeholders regarding how to create an attractive environment for this demographic. The five district councils will convene workshops in each geographic area of the state and prepare a report and presentation to be used as a resource by planners, developers, builders, community leaders, and local governments. The report will include recommendations and guidelines on the built environment’s role in attracting, enhancing, and supporting efforts of those over age 55 who seek entrepreneurial opportunities in their retirement years.

ULI Cleveland
Building the 21st-Century City: Best Practices for Creating a Thriving Urban Core

Grant amount: $10,000
Best Practices/Development

Akron, Ohio, has invested much in the revitalization of its downtown, and strong demand exists for housing in the center of the city, but the demand is not being met by entrepreneurs seeking to provide a variety of housing choices. ULI Cleveland blames the lack of exposure to best practices of 21st-century planning and the potential return on investment. For this reason, it plans to hold a daylong symposium designed to appeal to all the thought leaders of Akron, as well as constituents interested in seeing Akron grow. The symposium will aim to explain to those attending how successful urban residential development can be.

ULI Europe (France, Ireland, and the Netherlands)
Affordable Housing in Europe: Developing New Solutions and Partnerships through City Gaming

Grant amount: $10,000
Affordable Housing

One critical issue when it comes to the lack of affordable housing in many cities across Europe is the relationship between the public and private sectors. With this grant, ULI France, ULI Ireland, and ULI Netherlands will use city gaming to engage multiple stakeholders in resolving complex urban challenges. The game will include visualized data sets and geographical information to help players make informed decisions while reevaluating perspectives in a variety of situations. The game will bring together representatives of the public and private sectors in each of the cities to address a specific affordable housing–related challenge.

ULI Hong Kong
ULI YLG Hong Kong Case Competition

Grant amount: $15,000

An ongoing controversy in Hong Kong concerns the treatment of historic buildings and how best to preserve them in such a profits-driven city. The Young Leaders of ULI Hong Kong want to draw attention to and discuss the benefits of multidisciplinary solutions to development of and design for buildings with historic architecture. They will hold a competition seeking innovative design ideas and business proposals to assist the government and the city in defining the character of the project site and generate fresh ideas in historic preservation and adaptive use within a commercial context.

ULI Minnesota
Regional Council of Mayors Leading into the Future
Grant amount: $5,000
Policy/Public Sector

Housing affordability and transportation and their role in attracting and retaining talent have emerged as issues of critical importance. ULI is uniquely positioned to provide mayors and public sector leaders with innovative solutions and forward-thinking approaches to addressing these issues. ULI Minnesota plans to host a monthly meeting—the Regional Council of Mayors—to bring in content experts from outside the region to share both national and international emerging best practices on housing and transportation in order to empower mayors with the knowledge they need to lead their communities.

ULI Nashville
Better Information: Better Decisions: Better Community
Grant amount: $5,000
Best Practices

ULI Nashville, its leaders and members, staff from the Mayor’s Office, the planning director, the public works director, the vice mayor, and a team of Metro Council subcommittee chairs will work as a team to identify how best to raise the level of informed elected-official decision making to guide change and good growth in Nashville. The project will engage and educate Metro Council members and elevate the level of knowledge of best practices that elected officials can apply to all issues they deal with that affect the future of the region.

ULI North Florida
Activating Jacksonville’s Urban Waterfront
Grant amount: $12,500

Jacksonville’s waterfront downtown is extremely underused. ULI North Florida is looking to refocus key stakeholders on redevelopment of the waterfront and how it will revitalize the downtown. ULI North Florida will work with the president of the City Council, Downtown Vision Inc., and other partners to convene a special task force of ULI members and key community leaders to strengthen communications and engagement among stakeholders. They will focus on developing a strategic activation plan for the waterfront seeking both to create a more enjoyable and inviting environment and to lay the groundwork for additional waterfront development.

ULI Philadelphia
Investing in Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs)
Grant amount: $5,000
City/Regional Planning

ULI Philadelphia will be supporting a statewide study, to be undertaken by 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, ULI Philadelphia, and other partners of Pennsylvania’s ten most populous metro regions, that will demonstrate the economic development benefits of developing—and investing in—walkable urban places, or “WalkUPS,” where younger workers, affordable housing, multiple transportation options, and diverse employment opportunities are concentrated. ULI Philadelphia is hoping to address Pennsylvania’s lack of sufficient focus, planning, and investment in strategies that will promote such walkable high-growth communities—and the resulting lost economic growth opportunities if Pennsylvania fails to make such investments.

ULI St. Louis
ULI St. Louis Forward through Ferguson
Grant amount: $12,500
City/Regional Planning

The shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014 triggered a great deal of community turmoil throughout the St. Louis region, and ULI St. Louis is looking to ways in which it can play a role in Ferguson’s recovery. ULI St. Louis will lead a coalition to act on the three Ferguson Commission Calls to Action specifically tied to real estate development in an effort to present compelling information to the development community that prompts investment through a racial equity lens in the targeted areas. Those three calls to action are: prioritize transit-oriented development; build healthy, affordable housing; and subsidize middle-market neighborhoods.

ULI Washington
Regional Fellows Program
Grant amount: $10,000
Policy/ Public Sector

ULI Washington believes that the strength of its region depends on local public and private sector leaders working together to make the regional economy competitive by increasing the capacity of public leaders and by creating greater public/private connections across the region. To facilitate this collaboration, ULI Washington will create a Regional Fellows Program that brings together three local jurisdictions annually to participate in a nine-month collaboration to solve a specific challenge offered by each jurisdiction. Each of the fellowship jurisdictions will then participate in a ULI Technical Assistance Program panel, a unique ULI offering designed to address the challenge identified by each jurisdiction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *