Since ULI’s founding, Institute members have pioneered new communities. Iconic developments like Columbia, Maryland; the Woodlands, Texas; and Union Station in Denver have deep ULI roots. With rapid urbanization around the world, understanding of new communities is essential for developers, planners, and policy makers.
Placemaking: Innovations in New Communities, a new guide for business and government decision makers by longtime ULI leader and urban expert Sandy Apgar, presents five pioneering “Innovations” and proposes five new “Initiatives” to promote planned communities for revitalizing established cities and developing new growth areas.
The Innovations drawn from practical experience and professional expertise are:
- Comprehensive Plans with multiple goals and life-cycle horizons.
- Portfolio Economics supporting community-wide plans and discrete projects.
- Integrative Business Models for “total profitability” from fees and investments.
- Public-Private Partnerships that fuse business and government teams.
- Resident-Driven Services that broaden responsibilities for traditional functions.
Initiatives to extend new communities to new places and product types and promote further innovations are:
- Prime Movers of responsible, responsive urban growth.
- Information and Analytics to support decision makers.
- Unconventional Uses for new or underserved markets.
- Community Designs to create a “sense of place.”
- Investment Fund to provide “patient capital.”
Placemaking: Innovations in New Communities builds on Apgar’s 45 years of experience in this field, a unique collaboration he forged between ULI and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), findings from more than 700 respondents to an online ULI-RICS survey, 20 in-depth interviews, and three workshops of members and staff from both organizations. Six former ULI chairs and three senior fellows advised on the guide and survey, and a University of Michigan graduate student team helped in the survey analysis.
Among the guide’s highlights:
- Key Metrics: quantification of “ideal” U.S. and U.K. new communities (NCs).
- Millennials: new demographics for new community design and management.
- Profitability Model: novel low-equity/long-term/recurring-fee NCs.
- Top 20 Profiles: highlighting greenfield and urban renaissance NCs.
- Caselets: details of innovations in the Columbia NC and the Fort Belvoir public-private partnership.
- Interviews: candid views provided by Grosvenor Group executive and former ULI chair Jeremy Newsum and other leaders.
In Apgar’s words, “This guide synthesizes a lifetime of learning in new communities policy and practice, and a yearlong personal and professional research effort. I am posting it as a ‘work in progress’ to broaden the dialogue and deepen the casebook with your examples of innovations and initiatives.” For the next phase, a team from Georgetown University’s Urban and Regional Planning Program is already at work to complete the “Top 50 New Communities Profiles” and to produce additional caselets documenting NC innovations; some ULI members are pursuing spin-offs of selected initiatives. Apgar will incorporate these materials in a revised edition of the guide to be posted in spring 2015.
Along with the guide, Apgar offers an appendix with five components:
- U.S. version of the survey.
- U.K. version of the survey.
- Analysis prepared by Rockbridge Associates.
- Analysis prepared by a New Communities Analytics Research Team from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of Michigan.
- Interview guide.
Presentations at 2015 ULI Spring Meeting in Houston:
- “What’s New? What’s Next? The Power of Innovation in New Communities” by Sandy Apgar, a ULIF Governor and Vice Chair of the ULI Public Development and Infrastructure Council, summarizes survey data, presents planning and management techniques, and frames “New Communities in Cities (NCICs), including his full script and slides from the meeting.
- “New Communities: A Plan for Chicago’s Tech Triangle” by Greg Hummel, Partner of Bryan Cave LLP and a ULIF Governor, presents the concept for a major NCIC in downtown Chicago with many innovative product, financing, transportation, and technical features.
For speaking notes to accompany the slides from Sandy Apgar, please contact Sandy directly.