ULI Infrastructure Forum at the Fall Meeting
Aligning Innovative Infrastructure and Real Estate Investment to Build Community Value
More than 250 attendees gathered for the regional 2022 Equitable Development Summit, presented by ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), July 27–29. Planned by a member-led committee and staff from ULI Indiana, as well as volunteers from other district councils, the conference took place in Indianapolis with a virtual option. With its connection to WLI, the Equitable Development Summit provided a timely tie-in to WLI’s 10th anniversary, being celebrated this year.
Previously called the WLI Regional Summit, the event was renamed this year to emphasize its focus on equity in land use and leadership. The summit started in 2019 in Louisville, followed by a virtual event in 2020 and a hybrid experience in St. Louis in 2021.
This year’s event kicked off with tours that introduced attendees to Indianapolis’s cultural districts, highlighting several recent development projects as well as Indiana Avenue, once a thriving hub of Black commerce. Throughout the summit, more than 30 presenters, panelists, and moderators explored the theme of equitable development through the following sessions:
Attendees left the summit with new connections and inspired thinking about how to advance equity in land use and leadership.
“The summit was an opportunity to hear about past inequities in development and land planning and learn about tools and examples of improved development strategies,” said Sarah Hurt Evans, landscape architect, V3 Companies. “It was a powerful call to action to use our influence to create a more just built environment.”
“The summit was an absolutely timely event,” said Dominique Anderson. “As we continue to work through what equity and inclusion mean as a country, the real estate development industry is shining a light on itself to be honest about the past and how to create an even better future for all. The summit brought multiple opportunities for honest and real conversations, network building, and a chance to see how Indianapolis is ‘doing the work’ for their diverse and rich community. I was honored to be a part of the Story Hour and tell my story of why I do the work I do.”
“The summit provided various perspectives around the question, What does equitable development mean to you? and provided many takeaways,” said Peyton Carroll, development associate, Thompson Thrift. “For example, as Akilah Darden discussed, we need to build with and for communities, not to communities. Ciere Boatright encouraged us to engage early, often, and authentically. And Morgan Malone discussed how we can solve for a more just world by questioning who is impacted, how our work cares for others, and for whom we’re doing work. The event grounded and inspired me to create spaces and places with communities to leave a lasting generational impact.”
The Equitable Development Summit was made possible by the generosity of multiple sponsors, including presenting sponsor the Indianapolis Foundation, a Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) affiliate.
To learn more takeaways from the summit, search for #WLISummit on Twitter and LinkedIn. Check ULI’s Knowledge Finder to view presentations from. To learn more about the summit and its lineup, visit wlisummit.uli.org. And to continue the conversation, explore additional equitable development topics, and celebrate WLI’s 10-year anniversary, plan to attend the ULI Fall Meeting, October 24–27, in Dallas.