ULI sits at a special moment in its history. Its 75th anniversary is not just a birthday; it comes at a particularly critical time for members and the world as a whole. With the economy struggling, everyone is looking for signs of what economic renewal will look like. Against this backdrop, the real estate and land development sectors provide some forward-looking economic indicators, offering a glimpse into this nascent future. Sitting at the nexus of these industries and the treasure trove of information they generate, ULI provides a unique perspective for its membership. The emphasis during its 75th anniversary year is connecting ULI with a broad array of new audiences while preparing ULI members and their businesses for the future.
This anniversary issue highlights the benefits that ULI membership bestows on its members and society at large. To have survived—and thrived—for 75 years is no small feat: it merits observation and celebration of how ULI members and the various industry leaders they work with make the world a better place.
ULI’s priorities [page 18] reflect not only the concerns of its members and the larger community, but also reinforce what members value most from membership—actionable market intelligence, best practices, and business development through enhanced networking.
In the pages that follow, readers will discover how ULI began as an organization and learn about the challenges its leaders faced in the 1930s. Timelines highlight the organization’s milestones and most important events, as well as its first publications and the panels undertaken to educate and help communities in need. In addition, the winner of the first Heritage Award presented in the ULI Awards for Excellence program, Rockefeller Center, is featured, as is a look at J.C. Nichols, the man—a leader in ULI’s history and awards endeavors.
More recently, ULI has embarked on new partnerships that have resulted in influential publications, such as Emerging Trends in Real Estate® and the annual Infrastructure report, as well as new policy and practice centers, such as the ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate. ULI has also expanded, with offices in Europe and Asia bringing together industry leaders and experts from various disciplines with a common commitment to improving professional standards, seeking the best use of land, and following best practices.
A survey of ULI’s top leaders was recently conducted regarding how they see ULI and what it has meant to them. In addition, new voices on the future can be heard in responses to a question sent via social media channels asking ULI’s Young Leaders, "Where do you see ULI in the next 75 years?"
It is hoped that this special anniversary issue will be one members cherish and keep as a reminder of a unique organization that continually strives to do good, to educate, and to communicate best practices in lands around the world.