Urban Land Institute to Advise the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Resilience Retrofits of Multifamily High-Rise Towers

Renowned Panel of Land Use, Planning, and Transportation Experts to Visit Area from February 23-28

For more information, contact Justin Arnold, justin.arnold@uli.org, 202-448-8717

WASHINGTON (February 21, 2020) — A group of renowned land use, urban planning and resilience experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will be making recommendations next week to the City of Toronto on retrofitting the city’s high-rise multifamily towers in a way that advances the City’s sustainability, resilience and affordable housing goals. ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by more than 46,000 members dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving, sustainable communities.

The ULI representatives, convened through ULI’s Advisory Services Program, will be visiting the city from February 23-28. Sponsored by the City of Toronto in partnership with the Tower Renewal Partnership and with generous support from the ULI Foundation, the Advisory Services panelists will provide strategic recommendations on:

  • How the public and private sectors can work together to retrofit Toronto’s towers while maintaining affordability;
  • Financing strategies to accelerate investment in deep retrofits for these buildings; and
  • Next steps and priorities for the private and public sector to address these problems.


The panel will be chaired by ULI member Jim Heid, founder of UrbanGreen. “This upcoming panel will attempt to address many of the challenging issues facing almost every urban center in North America today. The panel will focus on affordable and attainable housing, renovating and retrofitting available stock to meet sustainability goals and the best way for the public and private sector to work together,” said Heid. “ULI’s Advisory Services panel process is a unique way to tackle these tough questions and generate meaningful, actionable solutions that will endure for  decades.”

Heid will be joined on the panel by Brad Dockser, chief executive officer, Green Generation, Bethesda, Maryland; Billy Grayson, executive director, Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, Urban Land Institute, Washington, D.C.; Purnima Kapur, former executive director, New York City Department of City Planning and Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Planning and Architecture, New York, New York; Bill Lashbrook, retired former senior vice president, PNC Real Estate, Hopewell, New Jersey; Laura London, associate director, real estate development, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Arlington, Virginia; and Elizabeth Propp, senior vice president, investments and acquisitions, Community Preservation Corporation, New York, New York.

In addition to interviewing stakeholders, the panel will tour the area before developing recommendations that will be presented at the conclusion of the panel’s visit.

Now in its 73rd year, the ULI Advisory Services program assembles experts in the fields of real estate and land use 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 46,000-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 AND EDITORS: Members of the public and media are invited to the presentation of the panel’s recommendations on Friday, February 28, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto. RSVP here.

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