Preparing communities for the impacts of climate change is a key aspect of ULI’s mission to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. ULI’s Urban Resilience program is proud to host the Resilient Land Use Cohort (RLUC), a technical assistance, learning, and network building opportunity for US district councils.
Each Council participating in the Resilient Land Use Cohort hosts a Technical Assistance or Advisory Services Panel or workshop focused on enhancing climate resilience through planning, zoning, land use, and development strategy, as well as addressing affordable housing, community development, and infrastructure planning.
RLUC has brought together ULI member leaders and community stakeholders to identify strategies to be more resilient in the face of climate change and other vulnerabilities, including floods, extreme storms, drought, wildfire, and extreme heat, as well as the related social, environmental, and economic impacts.
RLUC’s goal is to inspire implementable action towards climate adaptation and resilience in cities across the U.S., and to share emerging and best practices in climate resilient land use and related learnings to their communities and the broader ULI membership.
Resilient Land Use Cohort Reports
The first Resilient Land Use Cohort concluded in Spring of 2022. Local Challenges, Local Solutions provides a summary of the cohort’s work and impact.
The work of the first Resilient Land Use Cohort inspired two research reports:
- Resilient Retrofits: Climate Upgrades for Existing Buildings
- Enhancing Resilience through Neighborhood-Scale Strategies
Meet the Cohorts
Second Cohort (2022-2024)
- ULI Philadelphia has partnered with the City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability and Eastwick United Community Development Corporation to evaluate land swaps as a flood resilience solution for homes in flood zones in Eastwick. Their Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) was hosted on Nov 3-4, 2022, and the final report is in development.
- ULI Colorado is partnering with the City of Louisville and the Town of Superior to support the communities as they recover from the Marshall Fire and plan to enhance community resilience and affordable housing going forward. Their Advisory Service Panel (ASP) was hosted on March 14-17, 2023, and the final report is available here.
- ULI Louisiana is partnering with Sankofa Community Development Corporation to identify catalytic opportunities that can enhance resilience and equitable community development in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. Their TAP was hosted on March 23-24, 2023, and the final report is available here.
- ULI Los Angeles is partnering with the US Green Building Council of Los Angeles to support the development of a network of resilience hubs in vulnerable communities around the City of Los Angeles. Their TAP was hosted on April 20-21, 2023, and the final report is available here. A recording of the presentation is available here (starts at 40 min).
- ULI New York is partnering with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York City Department of City Planning to develop a program to address the flood resilience needs of 1-4-unit family homes in NYC. The TAP was hosted on May 9-10, 2023, and the final report is in development.
First Cohort (2019-2022)
- ULI Chicago conducted a series of task force workshops with the goal of developing a framework for building equitable, resilient, and sustainable neighborhoods as building blocks of a thriving, climate-prepared city. The tasks forces identified key physical, social, and economic elements that can help build resilience at the neighborhood and city levels, as well as develop policy recommendations and a climate action plan. Learn more about the ULI Chicago Resilience Initiative. Their report is available here.
- ULI Dallas convened a vASP focusing on a half mile in northwestern Dallas, where a tornado struck in 2019. The panel was asked to provide recommendations on how to promote greater social cohesion within the study area while promoting climate resilience and environmental justice. The presentation recording is available here and the report is available here.
- ULI Houston convened a vTAP to brainstorm possible future Houston city policies to encourage local property owners and developers to mitigate extreme heat with their projects, opportunities for short-term heat mitigation feasibility by referencing relevant regulations and potential financing mechanisms, and potential strategies to help Houston reach its extreme heat resilience goals. The presentation recording is available here and the report is available here.
- ULI Nashville convened a vTAP to focus on land use strategies, building requirements, and other policies and programs that can help mitigate the effects of heat in downtown adjacent neighborhoods in Nashville. Specifically, the panel addressed building and site-scale landscape heat design resilience strategies, building retrofits and land use heat mitigation, and equitable heat financing opportunities. The presentation recording is available here and the report is available here.
- ULI New York convened a vTAP to examine how Marlboro Houses, a NYCHA development in Brooklyn, could be made more resilient to climate-induced hazards with careful consideration of its landscape, buildings, operations, and financing. Marlboro was heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 but due to its public-private funding model, was deemed ineligible for FEMA relief funds. The presentation recording is available here and the report is available here. They also hosted a follow-up workshop on cloudburst infrastructure, the report for which is available here.
- ULI Philadelphia convened a vASP to conduct a detailed examination of the Master Plan of Central Delaware’s finger piers, which play a critical role in sea level rise and increasingly frequent precipitation events and storms. DRWC sought recommendations for the development of the finger piers and incentivizing resilient waterfront development. The presentation recording is available here and the report is available here.
- ULI San Diego convened a TAP to explore how cities across San Diego County are addressing extreme heat. The County has an Excess Heat Preparedness and Response Plan and a Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Plan, both of which address extreme heat from a health and human services perspective but not from a land use planning perspective. Panelists recommended building- and site-scale heat resilience strategies, as well as regulations and financing mechanisms to incentivize local property owners and developers to tackle extreme heat risk. The presentation slides are available here.
- ULI Tampa Bay convened a vTAP to provide City of Tampa-owned stormwater areas creative design and equity centered solutions for addressing stormwater management and retention while also adding value and appeal through more functional and multi-purposed uses. It also explored successful frameworks for governance, finance operations, and management of green spaces focused on equitable outcomes. The presentation recording is available here and the report is available here.
Funding for RLUC is provided by the ULI Foundation through support from JPMorgan Chase.