The Case for Open Space: Why the Real Estate Industry Should Invest in Parks and Open Spaces

    This publication is a collaboration with ULI's Sustainable Development Product Council.

How can investments in open space made by the private sector improve community health, support equitable development, and enhance real estate value?

This publication outlines four compelling cases for developers to invest in open space. Each case is supported by research and project briefs, as well as insights from developers, public officials, and others working at the intersection of open space and real estate development.

ULI’s Sustainable Development Council, and the  Building Healthy Places Initiative, housed in the Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, undertook this project to showcase how developers can provide needed community benefits through investments in open spaces while maximizing opportunities to create residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects with near-term appeal and sustained, long-term value.

The electronic version of this report includes interactive features. Readers may click through the report and learn more about profiled projects by hovering over prompts included throughout. Please note that interactive features are not available for smartphone users.


Download the Report (Interactive PDF)

Profiled Projects

  • Hunter’s Point South: Queens, New York
  • Levy Park: Houston, Texas
  • Grand Park: Los Angeles, California
  • Guthrie Green: Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Solaris Plaza: Vail, Colorado

Future Research

Future ULI research will further examine best practices, mechanisms, and strategies to maximize the benefits of developer involvement in creation and operation of parks and open space. This research is being undertaken through ULI’s partnership with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) on the 10-Minute Walk Campaign. The campaign is a nationwide movement launched on October 10th 2017 to ensure that there is a great park within a ten-minute walk of every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across the United States.

Please contact us at to learn more or submit project examples.


ULI is grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their support of this project and the Building Healthy Places Initiative.

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