ULI celebrated 75 years of leadership in community building in December with a series of events in communities throughout the United States, including meetings with the mayors of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and other cities.
ULI’s district councils in the United States secured more than 35 proclamations from more than 75 public officials—including mayors and governors—recognizing the institute’s work in fostering the creation of vibrant living and working environments. They proclaimed December 14, the anniversary of ULI’s establishment in Chicago in 1936, as "ULI Day." In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a ULI Day proclamation, which was presented December 14 during a program to raise funds for Urban Plan, ULI’s high school urban planning education program, and to recognize members who have served for 25 years.
As part of the events held during the celebratory week, ULI CEO Patrick L. Phillips participated in a ULI Day proclamation ceremony on December 13 with Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and on December 14 with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
"It [ULI] is extraordinary. Being around for 75 years speaks volumes about the quality of the organization," Gray said. "I want to congratulate you on all of the work that you have done. We are delighted to work with you and hope to continue the relationship."
Said Nutter: "I declare today ‘ULI Day’ in recognition of ULI’s 75 years of outstanding service and for providing an open exchange of ideas, information, and experience among local, national, and international industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better places."
"We can take pride in the fact that our goal of excellent community design and building can be traced back to the organization’s earliest years," Phillips said. "Going forward, we will build on the organization’s considerable accomplishments with a strong commitment to create communities worldwide that meet the needs and expectations of future generations for livability, amenities, flexibility, mobility, and choice."
The recognition activities began December 9 with an advance proclamation ceremony involving Jacksonville, Florida, Mayor Alvin Brown; ULI Chairman Peter Rummell, principal of the Rummell Company in Jacksonville; and ULI North Florida Chairman Bruce Johnson, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Regency Centers in Jacksonville.
"While the land use industry has changed dramatically over the past 75 years, ULI’s commitment to creating thriving, sustainable communities remains constant," Rummell said. "At this milestone in ULI’s history, the organization’s legacy of leadership in the responsible use of land continues to be shaped by visionaries as dedicated and committed as ULI’s founding members."
The recognition events included proclamations from Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Denver; Montgomery, Alabama; Raleigh, North Carolina; Salt Lake City; Seattle; and the state of Delaware. In Minnesota, a proclamation was received from the Regional Council of Mayors. "I applaud ULI’s wisdom to embrace the value and benefit of acknowledging and sponsoring the Regional Council of Mayors in Minnesota to create policies and strategies for a thriving and sustainable metropolitan region," said Elizabeth Kautz, mayor of Burnsville, Minnesota, and founder of the Regional Council of Mayors.
At a ULI Washington event, U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), said, "I want to thank the Urban Land Institute for all the work it has done for 75 years to help educate the business sector as well as the public sector with respect to zoning issues and land use issues."
The celebratory week of ULI Day proclamations kicked off a yearlong series of 75th anniversary activities, including an urban innovation grant program for ULI’s district councils in the United States and national councils abroad. In October, ULI awarded $500,000 in urban innovation grants to 30 winners for projects that recognize or launch innovative public/private partnerships to advance the responsible use of land in building healthy, thriving communities worldwide over the next 75 years. The $500,000 sum, provided by the ULI Foundation, is the largest amount ever contributed by the foundation to support a single funding round.
The 30 grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, were awarded to 23 winners in the United States, two in Canada, three in Europe, and two in Asia. A second round of grants will be awarded at the 2012 ULI Fall Meeting in Denver, the conclusion of the institute’s yearlong anniversary celebration.