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.

After Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Harvey and other storms, communities are increasingly focused on how to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to the adverse events which have become more frequent and intense due to climate change. 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 and preserve the value created in our cities, 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 cohesion.

The Urban Resilience program welcomes members to get involved as subject matter experts, panelists, volunteers or otherwise. Opportunities are listed on the Navigator.

Areas of Work

The program comprises four main areas of work:

  • 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. The Advisory Services panels process includes a five-day workshop 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.
  • 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.
    • 10 Principles for Building Resilience: This publication summarizes key themes posed by ULI’s national resilience work since Hurricane Sandy. The report considers 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: This brand new website features member nominated real estate development projects that showcase best practices in resilient design. Learn more and nominate a project for inclusion on the
      site at developingresilience.uli.org.
    • Check out more ULI publications on our Reports page.
  • Convenings:  The Urban Resilience program brings together members, leading resilience stakeholders, and city officials nationwide to share best practices. The 2018 Resilient Cities Summit in Manhattan Beach, California, co-hosted with the National League of Cities and the U.S. Green Building Council, convened a national group of mayors, senior city officials, and ULI experts, including members of the Public/Private Partnership Council, to discuss how to create public/private partnerships that build resilience and benefit all residents. The Urban Resilience program also hosts gatherings at ULI convenings, such as the Fall and Spring meetings.
  • 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 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

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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City of Miami Beach, FL – Advisory Services Panel

With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities initiative, a team of ULI Advisory Services Panelists…

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Urban Land Institute to Advise Miami Beach on Strategies for Stormwater Management, Climate Adaptation and Resilience

A group of nationally renowned land use planning experts representing the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will visit Miami…

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Urban Land Institute Report Proposes Ten Principles for Building Resilience

A new report from the Urban Land Institute’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance outlines ten fundamental principles…

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How can a park protect a city from extreme flooding?