With health and social equity becoming an increasing focus in the real estate industry, four prominent developers speaking at the ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., highlighted ways in which they are prioritizing these issues in their corporate strategies, portfolios, and projects.
More than 50 cities now have set the goal of 100 percent reliance on renewable energy for the future. With buildings accounting for 75 percent of U.S. electricity consumption, achieving these commitments will require the active participation and cooperation of the real estate sector. Public officials from New York City and Washington, D.C., sat down with real estate and business leaders at the ULI Fall Meeting to address ways to collaborate on battling climate change.
Real estate investors and analysts who rate local government bonds already are grappling with how to evaluate the future risks from rapid climate change, panelists said at ULI’s 2019 Resilience Summit, part of the Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Climate change will have a drastic, disruptive effect on the commercial real estate sector over the next several decades as rising temperatures make some areas less habitable and increasingly intense storms and rising sea levels erode the value of coastal real estate, according to a a Harvard-trained economist and fellow at Woods Hole Research Center speaking at ULI’s Resilience Summit, part of the 2019 Fall Meeting in Washington D.C.
A robust public/private partnership could further enable a bike trail and pedestrian boardwalk that bridges the lingering cultural divide between the east and west sides of Austin, Texas, a ULI Advisory Services panel said in August.
A new report from the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance shows that the real estate industry has made significant progress over the past 10 years in reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption while increasing asset value. Volume 10 of the Greenprint Performance Report™, which measures and tracks the performance of 8,916 properties owned by Greenprint’s members, demonstrates a 10-year improvement of 17 percent in energy use intensity, which is the annual energy consumption divided by gross floor area. The report also finds that Greenprint members are still on track to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030.
CenterPoint Properties, a leading innovator in the investment, development, and management of industrial real estate and multimodal transportation infrastructure, has joined the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance (Greenprint). Greenprint is a worldwide alliance of the foremost real estate owners, investors, and financial institutions committed to improving the environmental performance of the global real estate industry, with a particular emphasis on reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
A week after the release of a new ULI report on urban heat effects and the built environment, a ULI Washington event focused on how the city is planning for and responding to urban heat issues. While Washington, D.C., is in many ways a leader on this issue, speakers agreed that equity issues need to be addressed in addition to specific policy changes.
In June, a group of 125 of Denver’s public-, private-, and nonprofit-sector leaders came to study Copenhagen’s brand of sustainable urbanism with the Denver Downtown Partnership (DDP) Urban Exploration program. The DDP study group included 61 members of ULI Colorado, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, several Denver City Council members, and city and county staff members. The study tour explored the city of Copenhagen “through three lenses: livability, equity, and economic innovation, in which growth goes hand-in-hand with quality of life,” said one official.
Worldwide, this past July was the hottest month on record, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. A new ULI report, Scorched: Extreme Heat and Real Estate, notes that such rising temperatures and excessive heat waves are already affecting urban development and reviews strategies that can help mitigate the effects on communities.