Ed McMahon holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C.
He is nationally known as an inspiring and thought-provoking speaker and a leading authority on topics such as the links between health and the built environment, sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and historic preservation.
Ed in the news
Want big change? Then invest in Mississippi’s small towns (August 17, 2021)
- Main Spotlight: A Tribute to Ed McMahon, Board Chair of Main Street America (June 28, 2021)
- Invest in a Great Place for Prosperity (July 2020)
- Nashville’s Downtown Tests the City-Within-a-City Concept (July 7, 2020)
- Turning a Dead Coal Plant Into a Hip Waterfront Experience (July 30, 2019)
- Urban Land Institute touts open green space in cities (June 27, 2019)
- Ben Carson takes aim at red tape blamed for soaring housing costs (June 10, 2019)
- Agrihoods Feed Buyer Interest With Hip Amenities (May 30, 2019)
- ‘Proactive and aggressive’ economic development is essential (April 8, 2019)
- Need land for parks and housing? There are plenty of useless golf courses to repurpose (March 6, 2019)
- Don’t put flyover country in a corner. It’s leading America’s urban boom. (February 18, 2019)
- Arkansas’ First ‘Agrihood’ Taking Shape In Bentonville (February 11, 2019)
- Local organization hosting sustainable development expert (February 12, 2019)
- The 18-hour suburb: Savvy communities embracing a mixed-use approach to development (February 7, 2019)
- CivicCon 2018 wrap up: Five concepts to carry into 2019 and beyond (December 29, 2018)
- A Proven Economic Strategy (December 11, 2018)
- Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park spawns a new generation of urban parks (December 9, 2018)
- Developers tee off amid mass closure of U.S. golf courses (November 1, 2018)
- Farm-fresh housing in Silicon Valley: Innovative plan to combine housing, farmland nears vote (October 29, 2018)
- Building for the Common Good (October 10, 2018)
- Preservation Alliance of West Virginia meets in Parkersburg (October 6, 2018)
Explore the interconnections among walking, bicycling, and real estate development. This report showcases the growing synergies between real estate development and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investments.
Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places (November 2013)
The report from ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative sets out ten important principles that can be used to create a new approach to building healthy communities. The principles in the report, if acted upon, will help people live longer, more productive lives; reduce unhealthy lifestyles; help improve a community’s competitive advantages; and allow developers, investors, local governments, and citizens to prosper in the 21st century.
Practical how-to information for conservation-minded urban planning professionals is provided in this invaluable guide. The importance of natural lands or open space in master-planned communities—either in the suburbs or on the edge of existing cities—is thoroughly explained and coupled with examples of conservation-oriented housing developments that incorporate this key component.
As the Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development, Ed McMahon leads ULI’s worldwide efforts to conduct research and educational activities related to environmentally sensitive development policies and practices. He is also a senior staff adviser for ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, and is a sought-after speaker and thinker on health and real estate. He is currently at work on a major new report, Active Transportation and Real Estate: New Frontiers in Development, which will be released at ULI’s Spring Meeting in Houston in May 2015.
Before joining the Institute in 2004, McMahon spent 14 years as the vice president and director of land use planning for the Conservation Fund in Arlington County, Virginia, where he helped protect more than 5 million acres of land of historic or natural significance. McMahon is also the cofounder and former president of Scenic America, a national nonprofit organization devoted to protecting America’s scenic landscapes. Before that, he taught law and public policy at Georgetown University Law Center for nine years, and served in the U.S. Army, both at home and abroad.
McMahon is the author or coauthor of 15 books, including Conservation Communities: Creating Value with Nature, Open Space, and Agriculture; Better Models for Development in Virginia; Developing Sustainable Planned Communities; Green Infrastructure: Connecting Landscape and Communities; Land Conservation Finance; and Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities.
He also writes regularly for Urban Land magazine, Citiwire, Planning Commissioners Journal, and other periodicals.
Over the past 25 years, McMahon has helped communities in all 50 states with a wide variety of community planning and economic development issues. He serves on several advisory boards and commissions, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Maryland, the Governor’s Institute for Community Design, the Doris Duke Charitable Fund, and the Orton Family Foundation.
McMahon has an MA in urban studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a JD from Georgetown University Law School. He and his wife live in Takoma Park, Maryland.