Developers of master-planned communities (MPCs) must prepare for the next generation of buyers who will be more sophisticated and more discerning because they will come from urban environments, attendees were told at the 2017 ULI Spring Meeting.
Some of America’s largest and oldest industrial powerhouses are moving their headquarters locations from bucolic suburban office parks to vibrant downtown neighborhoods, positioning themselves for growth in the digital age. Two such relocations—Weyerhauser and General Electric—were discussed at the ULI Spring Meeting in Seattle.
Why do cities with the fastest-growing economies—including Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, and Austin–suffer from a growing imbalance between job growth and housing supply? A panel at the ULI Spring Meeting in Seattle examined why hot-market cities are failing to build enough housing for new workers, often by staggering ratios.
Contrary to some predictions, e-commerce has not made brick-and-mortar retail a thing of the past. Instead, as attendees at a ULI Spring Meeting session learned, shopping and dining are making critical contributions to activating urban spaces and helping shopping centers continuously evolve.
The evolution of “smart” cities is about solving specific problems more than sweeping urban transformation, panelists emphasized during the 2017 ULI Spring Meeting. Targeted programs with clear benefits are defining smart cities, not the widespread embrace of new technology, they said. In Seattle, “smart” means expanding the network of low-cost sensors, which is allowing for adaptive traffic signals and detailed weather mapping that can track microclimates and rain surges.
For a city with 10.2 million trees, Toronto has a surprising lack of green space in its core. Toronto Mayor John Tory wants to change that with a 21-acre (8.5 ha) signature park. ULI Toronto convened a panel of urban-park and public-realm experts from the United States and Europe to discuss successes and challenges related to legacy parks in their own cities and the achievements the city could build on while incorporating a number of best practices into its approach.
The mayors of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Anchorage, Alaska; and San Jose, California, spoke at a forum presented by the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use in Seattle discussing their solutions for the issues of revitalization, equity, and resilience in cities.
The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing has announced the finalists for this year’s Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award, which honors exemplary developments that ensure housing affordability for people with a range of incomes. The award recognizes efforts by the development community to increase the supply of housing that is affordable to households earning less than 120 percent of the area median income.
Former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. sounded an optimistic note in his address to ULI Spring Meeting attendees in Seattle, showing some of the populist spirit that earned him the nickname “Uncle in Chief.”
ULI has selected Kevin Brass as the recipient of the 2017 ULI Apgar Urban Land award, which recognizes industry articles of practical value published in Urban Land magazine, the Institute’s flagship publication. Brass was selected for three articles published in 2016: “Before It Runs Off,” which appeared in the May/June issue; “Drawing People In,” published in the January/February issue; and “Rerouting the Trinity River,” published in the September/October issue.