Engaging ULI’s global network allows the Curtis Infrastructure Initiative to provide technical assistance and capacity building to local communities to ensure infrastructure investments are equitable, resilient, and enhance long-term community value.
District Council Grant Opportunity
In July 2020, the Curtis Infrastructure Initiative requested District Councils submit statements of interests (SOI) for $15,000-$25,000 grants for technical assistance as well as participate in a national/global cohort to implement common infrastructure challenges. Following this call for proposals, 31 SOIs were received from 24 District Councils within ULI Americas including one from Mexico and one from Canada.
The infrastructure challenges identified by the District Councils were diverse including:
- Access to Broadband and 5G;
- Building resilience for water conservation, sea-level change, and inland waters;
- Developing equitable frameworks for infrastructure investment;
- Increasing housing affordability;
- Leveraging brownfields for smart growth;
- Creating parks, open space, and trails;
- Enhancing transit, freeway caps, and sidewalks.
The following proposals were selected to form a complementary cohort and receive capacity building from the Curtis Infrastructure Initiative.
- ULI Cincinnati: The District Council will conduct six workshops to accelerate the proposed 34-mile urban trail loop called “CROWN” to improve equity and development of affordable housing in underserved areas. The District Council and partner TriState Trails sees the completion of this trail and its access as an opportunity toward global competitiveness and economic mobility.
- ULI Dallas-Fort Worth: The District Council will conduct a technical assistance panel to recommend infrastructure priorities within Fort Worth’s historically Black Stop Six neighborhood as part of the city’s match for a significant HUD grant. The project will involve civic leaders and community voices in determining the best way to allocate the local funds for infrastructure to support equitable investment.
- ULI Louisiana: The District Council will conduct a technical assistance panel within Baton Rouge’s Plank Road corridor to identify opportunities for free internet access through 5G. This would build on efforts by the city to implement the recommended plans within the Imagine Plank Road small area plan.
- ULI Minnesota: The District Council will work with ReConnect Rondo and MnDOT to hold a series of workshops to identify policies, financial models, and community benefit principles through a Public, Private, Philanthropic and People (P4) Model that would result from the development of the Rondo Community Land Bridge covering I-94. This work builds on an advisory services panel that was completed as part of ULI’s involvement with the 10 Minute Walk partnership.
- ULI San Antonio: The District Council will convene a task force to explore innovative and equitable mobility services to maximize transportation tax revenue, reduce vehicle miles traveled and expand first and last mile solutions within the VIA Metropolitan Transit system. This includes the goal to provide better access to education across the city and region.
- ULI Toronto: The District Council will conduct four workshops to develop the concept of Transit Oriented Communities, which is broader than the Transit Oriented Development concept. This includes identifying steps and strategies for equitable, dense development that aligns with provincial goals to urbanize some of Greater Toronto’s suburban development pattern.
Lessons learned and best practices identified as part of this grant opportunity will be incorporated into Curtis Infrastructure Initiative research focused on developing practical tools to implement equitable and resilient infrastructure solutions that enhance long-term community value.
If you are interested in exploring how the Curtis Infrastructure Initiative could help your community reach out to Paul Angelone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-624-7183. If you are interested in broader technical assistance and capacity building work by ULI please visit the Advisory Services Program’s website.