Urban Land Institute to Advise on Transferring Operation of Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail to The Trail Foundation in Austin, Texas

WASHINGTON (August 22, 2019) — A group of nationally renowned land use and urban planning experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will be making recommendations next week to The Trail Foundation and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department on the feasibility of transferring the operation of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake to The Trail Foundation. ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by 45,000-plus members dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving, sustainable communities.

The Advisory Services panel is being conducted in conjunction with the 10-Minute Walk Campaign, a national movement striving to ensure that residents of urban neighborhoods throughout America have access to a high-quality park within a ten-minute walk from their homes. The 10-Minute Walk Campaign, which has been endorsed by over 230 mayors, involves a partnership between the Urban Land Institute, The Trust for Public Land, and the National Recreation and Park Association.

The ULI representatives, convened through ULI’s renowned Advisory Services Program, will be visiting the city August 25-30. Sponsored by The Trail Foundation and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, the Advisory Services panelists will consider:

  • How to determine the liability and authority over the space;
  • When to transfer operation of the trail, including prioritizing the transfer and phasing;
  • Funding recommendations, brand development and philanthropic growth and cultivation; and
  • How to prioritize projects involved with maintaining the trail.

The panel will be chaired by leading ULI Member Julie Underdahl, an independent consultant in Denver, Colorado. “We are looking forward to bringing the expertise of ULI members to Austin, and to conducting a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process that results in meaningful recommendations about how best to move forward with the agreement to transfer responsibility for this important community amenity,” Underdahl said. “Our goal is to help the city and The Trail Foundation fulfill their mutual goals of achieving the best possible operating relationship between the two entities so  the trail can continue to be improved and maintained as an iconic place and an economic, social, and natural resource for generations to come.”

Underdahl will be joined on the panel by Kimberley Driggins, director of strategic planning, City of Detroit, Planning and Development Department, Detroit, Michigan; Shane Farthing, director of economic and community development, City of Martinsburg, West Virginia; Suzanna Fry Jones, director of marketing & community outreach, High Line Canal Conservatory, Denver, Colorado; Edward Henley III, principal & project executive, Pillars Development, Nashville, Tennessee; Sandra Kulli, president, Kulli Marketing, Los Angeles, California; Amie MacPhee, founder, Cultivate, San Francisco, California; Charlie McCabe, parks consultant, Boston, Massachusetts; and Beth Silverman, co-founder, Lotus Campaign, Washington, D.C.

Panelists will tour sites and surrounding neighborhoods and interview a variety of stakeholders in the community before developing a set of recommendations that will be presented at the conclusion of the panel’s visit.

Now in its 72nd year, the ULI advisory services program assembles experts in the fields of real estate and land use planning to participate on panels worldwide, offering recommendations for complex planning and development projects, programs and policies. Panels have developed more than 700 studies for a broad range of land uses, ranging from waterfront properties to inner-city retail.

According to Thomas Eitler, senior vice president of ULI’s advisory services program, the strength of the program lies in ULI’s unique ability to draw on the substantial knowledge of its 44,000-plus members, including land developers, engineers, public officials, academics, lenders, architects, planners and urban designers. “The independent views of the panelists bring a fresh perspective to the land use challenge,” Eitler said. “The advisory services program is all about offering creative, innovative approaches to community building.”

Past sponsors of ULI advisory service panels include federal, state and local government agencies; regional councils of government; chambers of commerce; redevelopment authorities; private developers and property owners; community development corporations; lenders; historic preservation groups; non-profit community groups; environmental organizations and economic development agencies.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: The media and public are invited to the presentation of the findings on Friday, August 30, 2019, from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Austin Central Library Special Events Room, 710 Cesar Chavez St in Austin.

About ULI Austin

The ULI Austin District Council strives to advance the mission of the Urban Land Institute at a local level. The ULI Austin District Council was founded in 1994 and now includes over 900 members spanning Central Texas.

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