All Dates > All Authors > Sustainability


  • 06-01-10

    Amanda M. Burden: ‘When Done Right, the Payback Is Enormous’

    Amanda M. Burden, chair of the New York City Planning Commission, director of the New York Department of City Planning, and 2009 laureate of the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development, offers some thoughts about the selection of Campus Martius Park as the first recipient of the ULI Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award. The award was created with ULI, Burden says, because of her belief “in the power of well-designed public space to be a focal point for cities, bringing together residents of all income, race, age, and social status.”

  • 06-01-10

    LEED for Retail Due to Be Launched This Year

    The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) this year will release two new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) retail rating systems, LEED for Retail: New Construction and LEED for Retail: Commercial Interiors—the seventh and eighth members of the growing LEED family. Other categories cover new construction, existing buildings, core and shell, commercial interiors, schools, and homes. The upcoming launch comes at a seemingly inauspicious time, with both the economic slump and overbuilt retail markets creating hardships for retailers and real estate owners—problems that are not going away anytime soon.

    In southern California, for example, vacancy rates at neighborhood shopping centers, which typically have a grocery store as their anchor tenant, are still rising, according to a recent study by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Econometric Advisors. The current 12.4 percent vacancy rate would be higher if landlords did not offer an array of financial incentives such as reduced rents to hold on to tenants.

  • 06-01-10

    Confronting America’s Water Challenge

    Out of necessity, states and metropolitan areas are getting more involved in integrating watershed policies with local land use decisions, and are considering restricting new projects in areas without ample future water resources.

    No other infrastructure category presents the United States with greater challenges to future growth and regional prosperity than water—and no major U.S. metropolitan region can claim immunity from water-related problems and costs. In the years to come, budgetbusting system breakdowns may slam older cities located in the Northeast and the Midwest, while burgeoning urban centers in the West deal with how to protect threatened supplies and meet demands from growing populations. In the Southeast, rapid development and poor management compromise resources as states, counties, agribusiness interests, and power companies wrestle over available supplies. In most places, wastewater treatment plants either are too old or have reached their capacity, and contamination from stormwater runoff and nonpoint-source pollution is a major issue just about everywhere.

  • May

  • 05-01-10

    Land Use Implications of High-Speed Rail

    Decades in the making, high-speed rail is finally coming to California. In 2008, the state passed a $10 billion bond initiative to build the first leg of its ambitious state-spanning high-speed rail network.

    These nation-leading plans were rewarded in January with a $2.25 billion federal infusion, part of an $8 billion high-speed rail grant program made possible by the 2009 stimulus bill. When the California network is completed in 2025—with a projected overall tab of $45 billion—the state will have more than 700 miles (1,100 km) of track that will take passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than three hours, with trains achieving top speeds of 220 miles per hour (354 kmph). What will it mean for land use?

  • 05-01-10

    Campus Martius Park Wins First ULI Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award

    In a city more often characterized by hardship than success, Campus Martius Park in Detroit has received national recognition as the first winner of the ULI Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award, which recognizes an outstanding example of a public open space that has catalyzed the transformation of the surrounding community.

  • 05-01-10

    Team from Two North Carolina Universities Wins ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Award

    A team of students representing North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) won the $50,000 top prize in the 2010 Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition with a redevelopment plan for a San Diego neighborhood that emphasizes neighborhood diversity, affordability to families of mixed incomes, and walkability.

    Nearly 660 students making up 132 teams from 48 universities in the United States and Canada were among those in the 2010 competition who were challenged to create a design and development proposal for a 73.5-acre (29.7-ha) site in East Village in downtown San Diego. East Village, one of eight neighborhoods in the city’s downtown area, spans a total of 1,450 acres (587 ha) bounded by Interstate 5 and the San Diego Bay. The teams had to develop a transformative vision for East Village, incorporating the highest and best sustainable use, new economic development activities, and evidence of market support for their development activities—all fused with financial justification for their design decisions.

  • 05-01-10

    Greening Retail: Working through the Disconnect

    The retail industry has lagged behind the sustainability curve for some time, but is now quickly catching up as developers, landlords, and tenants seek to “green” their retail facilities to realize operational gains, demonstrate environmental stewardship, and capture increasingly conscientious consumers. However, because little information is available on the best leasing structure to benefit both landlords and tenants, many opportunities in retail real estate and store planning remain on the shelf.

    Later this year, the U.S. Green Building Council will launch Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings for retail facilities to help illuminate best practices in the retail real estate market. Contrary to common belief, greening the retail building market involves much more than buildout; for example, it encompasses site selection, structuring of a green lease, tenant-space buildout, operations and maintenance, and communication strategies.

  • March

  • 03-01-10

    Quantifying Climate Policy: Planning for Change

    The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen may have ended without an international commitment to specific greenhouse gas reduction targets, but the development community still needs to prepare to meet stringent targets in the next five to ten years. Both California and the U.K., among others, have already started down the path that the rest of the world is likely to soon follow.

  • 03-01-10

    New Tools Activate the Urban Environment

    As cities embrace promising new technologies, innovative ideas have prompted an exploration of the potential of virtual architecture.

  • 03-01-10

    Climate Positive

    The Clinton Climate Initiative’s Climate Positive Development Program intends to demonstrate workable solutions for sustainable urban growth through pilot projects in ten countries on six continents.