ULI has received a $180,000 grant from JP Morgan Chase & Co. that will support publication of a forthcoming book exploring how cities can become platforms for advancing social and economic equity. The book, to be cowritten by Patrick L. Phillips, ULI global chief executive officer, and Henry Cisneros, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, builds on previous work by ULI in the area of urban real estate investment and cities as drivers of social progress and change.
The book, to be written with coauthor Janis Bowdler, managing director for global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase, will offer ideas on how cities can leverage existing resources and develop an intentional and strategic approach to creating a more equitable society. While cities have always been a destination for those seeking upward mobility and a higher quality of life, the book will make the case that decision makers can pursue more deliberate approaches for expanding access to high-quality jobs, education, housing, and mobility options, as well as healthy food and physical activity to promote health and well-being.
“Throughout history, cities have always been society’s engine of economic opportunity and prosperity,” Phillips says. “Now it is time for cities to pivot towards the challenge of how those opportunities and prosperity can be more widely shared, particularly among those who have historically been at the margins. Rather than leaving it to happenstance, cities can pursue equity with more intention, and our book will explore frameworks for doing so.”
The book will consider strategies to engage vulnerable populations, including seniors, immigrants, veterans, and the disabled, to fully participate in the opportunities cities provide. It will offer a flexible framework that cities at different stages in their evolution can use to chart their own path toward greater equity. The book will offer case studies and interviews with mayors and civic leaders in order to depict real-world examples of cities closing opportunity gaps and creating equity.
The book will be published in 2017, and findings will be discussed at a series of gatherings and events held in conjunction with the ULI Americas district council network.