Urban Resilience

About Us

ULI’s Urban Resilience program provides ULI members, the public, and communities across the United States with information on how to be more resilient in the face of climate change and other environmental vulnerabilities. The program seeks to provide technical assistance, advance knowledge, and catalyze the adoption of transformative practices for real estate and land use policy, building from the knowledge of ULI members.

From sea level rise to heat waves, from storm surge to drought, the many impacts of climate change threaten the built environment in ways that have serious consequences for the health, viability, and economic vitality of our cities.

The Urban Resilience program works to help ULI members, communities and the built environment industries prepare for climate risk, considering opportunities in land use planning, real estate, building design and infrastructural investment. A central goal is ensuring that efforts to enhance resilience not only reduce vulnerability, but also strengthen cities overall, enhancing environmental performance, economic opportunity and social equity.

The Urban Resilience program welcomes members to get involved as subject matter experts, panelists, volunteers or otherwise. For more information, reach out to us at resilience@uli.org or visit the ULI Navigator. To access the Urban Resilience program’s research, technical assistance projects for cities and webinars, visit Urban Resilience reports or the ULI Knowledge Finder.

Areas of Work

The program comprises four main areas of work:

  • Advisory Services and Technical Assistance Panels:  Resilience Advisory Services panels bring together ULI member experts in the real estate and development fields to propose resilience solutions to address complex local land use scenarios. These panels are comprised of two to five day workshops where panelists engage with community stakeholders and develop recommendations for holistic and resilient approaches to land use that will decrease community vulnerability to climate-related risks and capitalize on opportunities for improved environmental performance, economic development, and quality of life. The Resilient Land Use Cohort, is one new project featuring a network of cities receiving technical assistance on land use and resilience over a two-year period.
  • Research: The Urban Resilience program conducts research on resilient development, design, and land use strategies, focusing on the business case for resilience and drawing from the expertise and involvement of ULI members.Check out more ULI publications on our Reports page, including reports from Advisory Services Panels, Technical Assistance Panels, convenings and more.
    • Scorched (2019): This report provides an overview of extreme heat’s connections to the built environment and an in-depth discussion of heat mitigation and adaptation strategies related to building design, building materials, green infrastructure and public space design.
    • Climate Risk and Real Estate Decision-Making (2019): ULI partnered with global real estate investment management firm Heitman to assess the potential impacts of climate change on the long-term viability of real estate assets. This report provides members with an inside look at how real estate investors are factoring climate risk into their investment decision-making and management processes.
    • 10 Principles for Building Resilience (2018): This publication summarizes key themes posed by ULI’s national resilience work since Hurricane Sandy, considering  the economic, environmental, and social factors which contribute to resilience and how the concept of resilience translates to the private sector, municipal decision makers, and communities.
    • Developing Urban Resilience (2018): The  website, which is regularly updated with new projects, features member nominated real estate development projects that showcase best practices in resilient design.
    • Check out more ULI publications on our Reports page, including reports from Advisory Services Panels, Technical Assistance Panels, convenings and more.
  • Convenings: The Urban Resilience program brings together ULI members, leading resilience stakeholders, and city officials nationwide to share best practices.
    • ULI Resilience Summit: During Fall Meeting 2019, the Urban Resilience program hosted this inaugural one-day event focused on preparing professionals from the real estate and land use sectors for the impacts of climate change. The event included panels, interactive workshops, keynote speakers and tours, as well as an inside look at DC’s recent waterfront development.
    • Resilient Cities Summit: This annual event, co-hosted with the National League of Cities and the U.S. Green Building Council, convenes a national group of mayors, senior city officials, and ULI experts, to explore resilience from an elected official’s perspective and identify best practices related to land use and development policy.
    • The Urban Resilience program also hosts gatherings at ULI convenings, such as the Fall and Spring meetings, and regularly partners with District Councils to host local events.
  • Local projects spearheaded by ULI District Councils: Resilience is best tackled at the local level. The Urban Resilience program helps ULI District Councils carry out local, member-initiated resilience projects, including technical assistance panels, research initiatives, community engagement projects, design workshops, demonstration projects, mapping projects, and others. For example:
    • ULI Southeast Florida and the Urban Resilience program are managing the “Business Case for Resilience” economic modelling analysis on behalf of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. This project will analyze the regional economic impacts of sea level rise and flooding, as well as potential economic opportunities associated with investments in resilience infrastructure.
    • ULI New York partnered with the Urban Resilience program to host a series of Technical Assistance Panels and workshops in New York City addressing topics including extreme heat mitigation and rezoning, and the development of the Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines.
    • ULI Baltimore worked with the city of Annapolis to explore how historic communities can respond to sea-level rise and climate risks through the city’s Weather It Together program.

More from the Program

ULI’s Urban Resilience Program Seeks Economic Modeling Consultant for Business Case for Resilience Project

ULI is partnering with the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact to launch the Business Case for Resilience…

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Not-So-Secret Guide to Sustainability: 2019 ULI Fall Meeting

Here are descriptions with dates/times of the events hosted, supported, or encouraged by the ULI Center for Sustainability…

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Not-So-Secret Guide to Sustainability: 2019 ULI Fall Meeting

Here are descriptions with dates/times of the events hosted, supported, or encouraged by the ULI Center for Sustainability…

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Urban Resilience Program Awards Grants to Enhance Local Resilience Efforts

ULI Tampa Bay and ULI Boston/New England have been selected as winners of ULI Urban Resilience District Council…

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Toa Baja, Puerto Rico - Resilience Advisory Services Panel

An Advisory Services Panel convened January 13-18, 2019 to provide strategic advice on a variety of issues associated…

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Coastal Forum - Inaugural Convening at 2018 Fall Meeting

Interested in meeting other members active in coastal development and real estate? The Coastal Forum is a member-initiated…

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