As 2016 comes to a close, I’m struck by the progress ULI made over the past year to enrich the member experience, increase member value, and strengthen member impact. It was a highly productive year, marked by significant membership growth, successful gatherings, substantive research, and exciting programs that are enhancing our efforts to advance the Institute’s mission around the globe.
At the heart of all this was an initiative, led by ULI’s global leadership, to forge a closer connection between your interests as members and the Institute’s program of work, and to make it easier for you to understand the organization and customize its offerings to your needs. A primary objective of the initiative was to strengthen ULI at the global and local levels through improved member communications, more streamlined operations, and more efficient allocation of resources. The result is a much more resilient, diverse, and durable ULI.
The depth and breadth of the organization are demonstrated by numerous highlights and achievements in 2016, including the following:
- 3,200 events in 340 cities around the world, each of which reinforced ULI’s position as a trusted authority on land use and real estate;
- High demand for the Advisory Services program, which advised 13 cities in the United States and one city in China on how to become more vibrant and sustainable;
- Nearly 80,000 hours volunteered by members participating in programs ranging from awards juries to Advisory Services, including more than 58,000 hours volunteered for district council activities;
- The introduction of UrbanPlan—ULI’s high school and undergraduate planning and design course—in the United Kingdom, where it reached more than 500 students in 24 state schools across the country;
- The launch of our Tenant Energy Optimization Program, which will help commercial building tenants cut energy consumption and lower energy costs;
- An expansion of the Building Healthy Places Initiative to include a focus on the intersection of food and real estate; and
- The ULI J.C. Nichols Forum, which explored the rise of 18-hour cities and featured six of our Nichols laureates sharing their expertise on the importance of inclusive community building.
Our Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report, released late last month, documents how ULI is continuing to make a positive, lasting impact on communities around the globe. If you have not had a chance to look through it, I encourage you to do so.
In many cases, the progress that ULI made in 2016 is directly related to support from the ULI Foundation Annual Fund. During this season of giving, you can help us expand the Institute’s reach and influence with a donation to the Annual Fund. Every gift helps enrich our knowledge base with new experiences, new perspectives, and new lessons learned and shared. Your contribution will fund our programs, activities, and services and help us create a brighter future for our Institute and our communities.
What ULI accomplishes—through its unique multidisciplinary membership—distinguishes it from every other real estate organization in the world. Thank you for being part of ULI, and contributing to its success.
On behalf of the entire ULI staff, I wish you happy holidays and a successful, productive new year.
Patrick L. Phillips
Global Chief Executive Officer
Urban Land Institute