Over the past 75 years, ULI books, magazines, panel reports, and other publications have had a tremendous influence on real estate development worldwide. They continue the ULI tradition of sharing best practices and lessons learned, with many books containing detailed case studies of successful projects throughout the United States and, increasingly, the world. These publications benefit from the expert knowledge of ULI members, who serve as authors, panel members, and reviewers, ensuring that all the information published by the Institute is accurate, up to date, and useful to industry practitioners.
1940: ULI publishes its first two studies, "Decentralization: What Is It Doing to Our Cities?" and "The Present and Ultimate Effect on Decentralization upon American Cities."
1940–1942: With support from the Marshall Field Fund, ULI embarks on a series of studies that provide specific recommendations to remedy blight and disinvestment in central business districts, starting with a 76-page report titled "A Survey in Respect to the Decentralization of the Boston Central Business District." Subsequent reports examine Cincinnati, New York City, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Louisville. Their hard-hitting recommendations attract publicity in the local and national press and establish ULI as a leading expert resource on the problems of the city.
Urban Land magazine begins publication on July 21, 1941, as the four-page, typewritten News Bulletin. (A few months later, the title is shortened to Bulletin.) Its forward-looking legend is "To Obtain Post-War Replanning and Rebuilding of Cities."
1944: Volume 3 of ULI’s magazine introduces the name Urban Land, described as "A Monthly Publication in the Field of Planned Urban Development." In August, the magazine is redesigned and given a masthead that, with minor variations, remains unchanged for 26 years, and a legend—"News and Trends . . . in City Development" that lasts until January 1970, when the word "Land" is substituted for "City."
1945: J.C. Nichols writes the first Technical Bulletin, an eight-page report titled "Mistakes We Have Made in Community Development." Throughout the 1940s, ULI publishes 13 additional Technical Bulletins (as supplements to Urban Land), covering topics such as urban redevelopment, shopping centers, and parking. The series continues through 1977.
The Community Builders Handbook, a 206-page, comb-bound publication prepared by the Community Builders’ Council, demonstrates the Institute’s early and continuing emphasis on community building and best practices; it begins a tradition that continues today with the Development Handbook Series. (Second Edition, 1950; Third Edition, 1954; Fourth Edition, 1960; Fifth Edition, 1968)
1947: "Louisville, Kentucky’s Central Business District Council," a report on the first advisory services panel—which was convened under the direction of the Central Business District Council at its meeting in Louisville—takes the form of minutes of the council’s meeting, followed by the council’s conclusions and resolutions.
1949: "Analysis and Recommendations for Expressway Shopping Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania"
reports on the first advisory services panel to address shopping centers, which was held under the direction of the Community Builders’ Council.
Proposed Industrial District, Raleigh, North Carolina, is the first panel report to focus on industrial development, which continued to be a popular focus for panels through the 1970s.
Community Development Study for Yorktown, Toronto, Canada, reports on the first advisory services panel held outside the United States.
1954: The City Fights Back, Hal Burton and the Central City Council, presents a national survey of what cities are doing to keep pace with traffic, zoning, shifting population, smoke, smog, and other problems.
1956: Peoria Metropolitan Area: Report to the Peoria Downtown Improvement Association is one of the first panel reports to address regional growth and downtown revitalization.
Urban Real Estate Research is the first of the Research Monographs series. This series, renamed Research Reports in 1972, continued through 1977. Subjects include national growth policies, taxation and land use, new town planning and development, and fair housing and exclusionary land use.
1961: Since 1960, ULI has tracked shopping center operations, providing comparative data on income and expenses. The Standard Manual of Expense Accounts for Shopping Centers and Operation Shopping Centers are the first publications to result from this research—and the precursors to the Dollars & Cents of Shopping Centers series.
1962: The Dollars and Cents of Shopping Centers first appears, providing shopping center developers and owners with clear benchmarks against which to measure their operations. This classic begins as a trienniel publication.
The Homes Association Handbook is jointly researched and published by ULI, the National Association of Home Builders, and the Federal Housing Administration; it describes how traditional residential subdivision design can be improved upon by clustering housing in planned unit developments and triggers major changes for communities and homebuilders.
Planning and Developing Five Oaks Inc. Property Adjacent to South Texas Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, is one of the first panel reports to address the importance of medical centers and other large medical facilities—an emphasis on anchor institutions that continues today.
1968: The first edition of Land Use Digest, a monthly news digest, appears. "Published monthly for members professionally interested in land use, land economics, and land development," LUD presents news briefs on "urban development, urban planning, renewal and rehabilitation, environmental control, population densities, economic base development, mortgage lending practices, and on and on."
Jay: An Evaluation of Land Use and Development for Weyerhauser Properties Inc., Jay, Vermont, a panel report on ski area development, reflects ULI’s expanded interest in resort and other types of recreational development.
1971: For its Volume 30, Urban Land’s look is overhauled with a new masthead and logo, higher-grade paper, a different typeface, and more pages. The magazine begins running more than one feature article on a regular basis; the average issue is 32 pages.
ULI Project Reference File begins as a quarterly subscription service. Standardized case studies of a wide range of real estate product types include a description of each project’s development process as well as photos and site plans, contact information for development team members, economic data, and "experience gained." The publication, which continues until 1998—when it goes online and eventually is renamed the Development Case Studies series—provides a resource aimed at "improving the quality of future projects of a similar nature."
1972: Skagit County: A Strategy for Environmental Protection and Economic Development, Skagit County, Washington (panel report) is evidence of ULI’s increasing involvement with environmental issues.
1973: ULI’s Research Division introduces Environmental Comment as a monthly newsletter, part of an environmental research effort "designed to provide a well-documented set of environmental standards for the use of developers and government officials at the local level." This research publication continues until the early 1980s, when it is incorporated as a column in Urban Land.
1975: Industrial Development Handbook becomes the first "spin-off" edition in the Community Builders Handbook Series.
1976: Mixed-Use Development: New Ways of Land Use, Robert Witherspoon et al., coins the phrase "mixed-use development (MXD)" as a real estate development concept and product.
1977: Shopping Center Development Handbook is the second product-focused publication in the Community Builders Handbook Series. (Second Edition, 1985; Third Edition, 1999)
1978: Residential Development Handbook, the third product-focused publication in the series, provides a major contribution to the understanding of residential development and—with the Industrial and Shopping Center Development Handbooks, completes the basic replacement of the 1968 edition of The Community Builders Handbook. (Second Edition, 1990; Third Edition, 2004)
1979: The Dimensions of Parking is published jointly by ULI and the National Parking Association. The first edition is the start of an enduring partnership between the two groups; each edition deals with the importance of well-designed parking facilities as an integral element in high-quality land use and development. (Second Edition, 1983; Third Edition, 1993; Fourth Edition, 2000; Fifth Edition 2010)
Downtown Development Handbook, the fourth volume in the Community Builders Handbook Series, "sets forth the steps both the private and public sectors should undertake for the successful realization of a new development project in the central business district." (Second Edition, 1992)
1980: Union Station, Washington, D.C.: An Assessment of Commercial Development Opportunities for Amtrak National Railroad Passenger Corporation (panel report) offers recommendations that later are reflected in the station’s redevelopment.
The Affordable Community: Adapting Today’s Communities to Tomorrow’s Needs (the Report of the Council on Development Choices for the 80s) touts the benefits of compact development, infill and revitalization mixed land uses, wider transportation choices, an adequate supply of affordable housing, and urban villages—all themes that remain relevant today.
Recreational Development Handbook is a how-to guide for those interested in real estate development "characterized by recreational elements that provide income and add value to associated real estate."
Office Development Handbook aims "to help the private and public sectors achieve better planned work centers for white-collar and service occupations." (Second Edition, 1998)
Urban Land is redesigned and expanded to 40 pages. The objective, in the words of then-president I. Rocke Ransen, is "to strengthen the magazine as the preeminent forum for the exchange of ideas, experience, and information among leaders in land use and development."
1986: ULI Market Profiles debuts, providing standardized profiles of 26 U.S. metro areas; the annual publication continues through 2000, with the number of markets covered expanding to more than 100 in separate volumes for North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.
1986: An Evaluation of the Redevelopment Potential and Strategies for the North Lawndale Community of Chicago (panel report) was the product of the Institute’s first inner-city panel, which it donated to the city of Chicago to commemorate ULI’s 50th anniversary. The report was instrumental in the community’s revitalization, including the redevelopment of the former Sears, Roebuck and Company world headquarters into Homan Square, a neighborhood of new homes, retail, and a community center.
Mixed-Use Development Handbook, the seventh volume in the Community Builders Handbook series, discusses this evolving form of development. (Second Edition, 2003)
Colorado Convention Center, Denver (panel report) compares five proposals, making many recommendations that ultimately are implemented.
1988: Business and Industrial Park Development Handbook replaces the Industrial Development Handbook, reflecting how the form and function of this type of land use have changed in the decade since its publication. (Second Edition, 2001)
The Municipality of Zoetermeer: A Review of Community Management, Enhancement, Promotion, and Marketing Strategies, Zoetermeer, the Netherlands (panel report), documents the first advisory services panel held in Europe.
1992: After many years of discussion, ULI opens Urban Land to paid advertising, creating a new income stream and enabling the redesigned magazine to grow in size and increase its use of full-color photographs and other graphics.
Real Estate Development: Principles and Process, Mike Miles et al., quickly becomes a perennial best-selling textbook; it offers a practical and thorough introduction to real estate development and is widely used in university real estate programs. (Second Edition, 1996; Third Edition, 2000; Fourth Edition, 2007)
Professional Real Estate Development: The ULI Guide to the Business, Richard Peiser et al., explains the nuts and bolts of real estate development. (Second Edition, 2003)
Dollars & Cents of Shopping Centers begins publication every two years. It remained the single most objective source of data on shopping centers—and the only source that provides extensive operating information on more than 200 tenant classifications; it becomes a valued resource for shopping center managers, brokers, tenants, appraisers, consultants, and public officials, as well as for shopping center developers and owners.
Downtown Oklahoma City (panel report) evaluates and recommends redevelopment strategies after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building.
1996: Transportation and Growth: Myth and Fact, Robert T. Dunphy, provides readers with the data and analysis needed to address common misperceptions about traffic problems related to development, in a 16-page booklet.
1997: Resort Development Handbook replaces the Recreational Development Handbook and is the first in the completely redesigned Development Handbook Series. (Second Edition, 2008)
1997: First Urban Land: Europe and Urban Land: Asia supplements published.
Cities on the Rebound: A Vision for Urban America, William H. Hudnut III, is the first book to be written by a ULI senior resident fellow. Hudnut challenges public and private sector leaders to identify alternatives to sprawl, promote smart growth, manage technological change, further regional collaboration, improve governmental effectiveness, and encourage citizens to participate as advocates rather than adversaries.
1999: Smart Growth: Myth and Fact, David O’Neill—among the first of ULI’s smart growth publications—investigates common myths and misperceptions, countering them with data and examples of development and public policies that work, in booklet form.
2000 and Beyond
Multifamily Housing Development Handbook offers yet another entry in this popular and influential series.
Sanya, Hainan Province, China: Strategies for Becoming a World-Class Resort Community, Sanya, China (panel report) documents the first advisory services panel conducted in Asia.
The Smart Growth Tool Kit: Community Profiles and Case Studies to Advance Smart Growth Practices, David O’Neill, provides step-by-step instructions and strategies that work.
2003: ULI begins partnering with PriceWaterhouse Coopers to prepare the annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate, which grows to include Emerging Trends: Europe in 2004 and Emerging Trends: Asia Pacific in 2007.
2003: Stella Maris, Haifa, Israel: A Strategy for Development (panel report) documents the first panel conducted in the Middle East.
2003: Better Places, Better Lives: A Biography of James Rouse, Joshua Olsen, is the first biography published by ULI.
Developing Around Transit: Strategies and Solutions that Work, Robert Cervero et al., takes transit-oriented development to a new level by focusing on practical and proven strategies.
Lower Manhattan, New York City (panel report) concludes that post-9/11 Lower Manhattan will be a world-class destination that has the potential to be one of the great retail marketplaces of the world.
2005: Green Office Buildings: A Practical Guide to Development, Anne Frej, explains how to cost-effectively develop an environmentally sustainable office building.
New Orleans: A Strategy for Rebuilding (panel report) recommends that post-Katrina New Orleans be rebuilt through a phased process that accommodates the immediate needs of its downsized population and that positions the city for future growth as it evolves from recovery to restoration, reform, and rebirth.
2006: ULI joins forces with the International Council of Shopping Centers to prepare the renamed Dollars & Cents of Shopping Centers/The SCORE; the latest edition was published in 2008.
The Inside Track to Careers in Real Estate, Stan Ross, is packed with information on jobs in the industry—including development, finance, asset management, international opportunities, and starting a real estate company—and includes candid interviews with industry leaders.
Developing Sustainable Planned Communities, Richard Franco et al., offers practical, how-to information on designing and developing attractive, profitable, and environmentally responsible planned communities.
2007: For the first time, 26 ULI books are made available as e-books, in a special format that allows previews as well as purchases by the page and for variable lengths of time.
2008: Retail Development, Fourth Edition (formerly known as the Shopping Center Development Handbook) addresses the many new challenges facing the shopping center industry.
2008: Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change, Reid Ewing et al., illustrates how compact development can be a crucial strategy in combating greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. It also suggests policy and program changes that can be implemented at the local, regional, state, and federal levels to make green, compact neighborhoods more available and affordable.
Retrofitting Office Buildings to Be Green and Energy Efficient, presents a compelling business case for green and energy-efficient retrofits by detailing specific decision points and technologies.
2009: Real Estate and the Financial Crisis, Anthony Downs, offers a comprehensive analysis of how turmoil in capital markets worldwide is restructuring real estate finance.
2009: Monthly ULI Real Estate Business Barometer—summarizing more than 60 key indicators—first appears online.
2010: Conservation Communities: Creating Value with Nature, Open Space, and Agriculture, Edward T. McMahon, describes how conservation development principles can help developers design communities that sit lightly on the land and preserve desirable natural amenities.
2010: Urban Land Online is launched, with original, timely content as well as archival material.
2010: Shaping the Future of Chester, Chester, U.K. (panel report) advises one of the best-preserved medieval walled cities in the United Kingdom on a strategy to unite the city’s many organizations behind a single vision to improve Chester’s economic position.
2011: Finance for Real Estate Development, Charles Long, lays out the basics of finance and land valuation as the foundation for successful development.
2011: State and Local Incentives for Green Development appears as ULI’s first Kindle e-book. Going forward, ULI will continue to publish books in the most popular e-reader formats.
2011: GM Stamping Plant: Redevelopment Strategies, Indianapolis, Indiana (panel report), offers recommendations on the redevelopment of the soon-to-be-vacant General Motors plant site southwest of downtown Indianapolis, focusing on how to best position the site so it remains a productive part of the city’s urban fabric.