/ Corporate / Urban Land Institute Receives $800,000 Grant from the Kresge Foundation to Support the Creation of Sustainable Communities

Urban Land Institute Receives $800,000 Grant from the Kresge Foundation to Support the Creation of Sustainable Communities

Matt Ball on October 26, 2015 - in Corporate, Land Development, Planning

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2015—The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use and sustainable community building, has been awarded an $800,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to support efforts by the ULI Center for Sustainability to make communities more resilient and adaptable to the impacts of climate change and reduce the environmental imprint of the real estate industry.

The grant is supporting ULI’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance and its Urban Resilience Program, both of which are administered by the Center for Sustainability. Greenprint is a worldwide alliance of real estate owners, investors, and partners committed to leading the global real estate community toward value-enhancing, carbon reduction strategies. Its work includes collecting data on the performance of more than 1.2 billion square feet of space in more than 5,200 buildings in 51 countries. The Urban Resilience Program is helping cities become more resilient by increasing their ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events caused by climate change.

Through these two programs, ULI is examining how the real estate industry can help mitigate the impacts of climate change through more efficient building performance and resource conservation strategies. The institute is also exploring how climate change is reshaping urban growth patterns and it is focusing on how to reduce the risks posed to low-income and other vulnerable populations by severe weather events.

The grant is in addition to an $800,000 grant ULI received in 2013 from The Kresge Foundation to advance the institute’s work on improving the resilience of urban areas and communities. With the funding from the new grant, ULI will conduct three sets of activities: one to enhance resilience to climate risks; another to address resource use by buildings; and a third set of actions to raise awareness of these issues among ULI members and other audiences. Throughout 2016 and 2017, ULI will build on its progress with a focus on:

  • Helping to catalyze the development of policies and the adoption of transformative market practices, such as energy benchmarking and resilient building design, which lead to the creation of sustainable places worldwide.
  • Shifting sustainability to a more central issue of concern among ULI members.
  • Increasing the number of buildings covered by voluntary energy benchmarking (via Greenprint and other sources) and helping strengthen the application of benchmarking data and lessons to further reduce energy consumption.
  • Improving built-environment sustainability and resilience awareness and implementation in specific cities served by ULI.
  • Enhancing the interaction of non-profit and other organizations working in greater coordination to help communities adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change.

“The built environment is a major contributor of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, and the recognition of this is dramatically altering approaches to community building in the twenty-first century. At ULI, we view urban development as an opportunity to reduce disaster-related risk and increase community resilience, as well as enhance livability and protect natural resources,” said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “The generous support from The Kresge Foundation is greatly enhancing the scale and scope of ULI’s work in this area. We are very proud to be working with the foundation to help advance knowledge of the relationship between climate change and land use, and we look forward to expanding industry partnerships that advance best practices in building performance and in creating resilient communities.”

ULI’s work leverages the substantial expertise of the institute’s members, who lead by example with urban design and development that helps preserve the environment, boost economic prosperity, and foster a high quality of life.

Just last month, Greenprint released its Greenprint Performance Report: Volume 6, which shows a 2013-to-2014 reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions from buildings owned and managed by Greenprint members that is the equivalent of more than 25,000 cars taken off the road and more than 3 million trees planted.

In addition, through the Urban Resilience Program, ULI just published Returns on Resilience: The Business Case, which highlights several developments that were designed to physically and financially perform well in the face of climate threats unique to their locations. The projects represent a range of property types across three U.S. regions with diverse geographies and challenges: the Northeast coast, the Caribbean and tropical Southeastern coast, and the South-Central and Western U.S. The specific threats to properties discussed in the case studies include hurricanes, tropical storms, sea-level rise, storm surges, coastal flooding, drought, wind, and extreme temperatures.

About the Urban Land Institute                                                                                                                                           

The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 35,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, community development in Detroit. In 2014, the Board of Trustees approved 408 awards totaling $242.5 million. That included a $100 million award to the Foundation for Detroit’s Future, a fund created to soften the impact of the city’s bankruptcy on pensioners and safeguard cultural assets at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A total of $138.1 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, the Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $20.4 million in 2014.  For more information, go to kresge.org.

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