Author: Patrick L. Phillips

From 2009 to early 2018, Patrick L. Phillips served as the Global Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). ULI, which currently has more than 200 employees and a budget of nearly $75 million, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has offices throughout the world. As Global CEO, Phillips worked with ULI's member leaders to lead all aspects of ULI's strategy, mission delivery, resource allocation, and fiscal performance. Phillips, a longtime member of ULI, has had a career in the economic analysis of real estate and land use that spans more than 30 years. Prior to taking the position as the top staff executive at ULI, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of ERA AECOM (formerly Economics Research Associates). In that role, he coordinated all aspects of ERA’s organization, strategy, business development, and service delivery. His own consulting practice focused specifically on the intersection of private investment and public policy. To further expand ERA’s reach and impact, Phillips guided the successful sale of the company in 2007 to AECOM, a globally renowned provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of industries, including land use, transportation, environmental and energy. His work at ERA AECOM focused on development strategy, development economics and feasibility analysis, and transaction-related services for real estate investors and developers, public agencies, financial institutions, universities, and non-profit organizations. This involved all major categories of urban land use, with an emphasis on the market, economic, and financial aspects of a new generation of downtown and suburban mixed-use projects. Under Phillip’s direction, ERA provided consulting services for such notable development projects as Mockingbird Station in Dallas, Atlantic Station in Atlanta, and the repositioning of Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza; as well as public planning projects for the Hudson Yards in New York City and Houston’s Buffalo Bayou. Phillips has often advised public agencies and non-profit organizations on issues related to public-private partnerships for economic development. He is a frequent speaker on urban development issues, and is the author or co-author of eight books and numerous articles. In 2005, Phillips led a nationally prominent economic development team as part of the ULI advisory services panel making recommendations on post-Katrina rebuilding efforts in New Orleans. Patrick teaches at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design Executive Education Program and at the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University. His academic training includes a graduate degree in public management and finance from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Articles by Patrick L. Phillips

  • Patrick L. Phillips: Sidewalk Lays Out a Path to the Future in Toronto
    Published on November 08, 2019 in Planning & Design
    In the Waterfront Toronto RFP for Quayside, Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs saw a key opportunity for a demonstration project unbound by the conventions of traditional urban planning or real estate economics. This was something new: a chance to innovate at the urban scale, to develop, deploy, and measure the success of a web of new technologies in an actual neighborhood.
  • CEO Perspective: Change and Evolution
    Published on January 04, 2018 in Inside ULI
    During my time as ULI’s global chief executive officer, it has become increasingly clear to me that one of the great attributes of the Institute is its ability to embrace change and evolve without losing sight of its core values. After eight very rewarding and fulfilling years at the helm, it’s time for me to step down.
  • Global CEO Patrick Phillips on ULI’s Leadership in Urban Resilience
    Published on September 26, 2017 in Inside ULI
    With so much about the built environment now under scrutiny, the Urban Land Institute’s work has never been more necessary or relevant.
  • The Damage from Extreme Weather—and Challenges for Rebuilding
    Published on September 01, 2017 in Inside ULI
    While Hurricane Harvey was certainly a historical event, each event exposes vulnerabilities resulting from how we’ve built in the past. Each event also yields lessons about how to make our cities resilient, and ultimately more competitive.
  • CEO Perspective: Listening at ULI
    Published on June 22, 2017 in Inside ULI
    ULI’s Spring Meeting in Seattlewas one of the best Spring Meetings I have attended, with a recordbreaking turnout (4,000-plus members and guests) and far-betterthan-expected registration and sponsorship revenues. In addition to the meeting’s outstanding financial outcome, the speaker lineup was extraordinary, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Alaska Airlines chief executive officer Bradley Tilden, and The Boys in the Boat author Daniel James Brown, whose inspirational messages individuals and as an organization to new levels of excellence.
  • CEO Perspective: On Sustainability
    Published on June 12, 2017 in Inside ULI
    ULI has long supported and promoted sustainable development that conserves energy, land, and other natural resources. Our leadership in sustainability has never been driven by government regulations or policies. It has always been a market-driven, value-creating response to the changing environment, and nothing will change that. The forces that have shaped the institutionalization of sustainability and its wide adoption are not going away. In fact, they are going to become stronger and more prevalent in the years ahead.
  • CEO Perspective: ULI at Its Best—Advisory Services
    Published on May 15, 2017 in Inside ULI
    Of all of the Institute’s many offerings, perhaps the one that best delivers an ideal combination of member value and mission advancement is our Advisory Services program.
  • CEO Perspective: Land Use for Healthy Living
    Published on October 07, 2016 in Development
    The New York Times recently published an interesting article on the popularity of Washington, D.C., as an “ideal place to grow older,” citing such senior-friendly assets as easy walkability and a prevalence of community gardens doing double duty as sources of fresh food and places to socialize.
  • CEO Perspective: Sharing the Benefits of Revitalization
    Published on August 01, 2016 in Market Trends
    This past May, ULI Boston released a report, Building for the Middle: Housing Greater Boston’s Workforce, which spotlights a troubling phenomenon—a 25-year decline in the number of middle-income households in Greater Boston, which occurred while the number of low- and high-income households rose significantly.
  • CEO Perspective: The State of ULI
    Published on June 15, 2016 in Market Trends
    As fiscal year 2016 comes to a close, I’m happy to report that the state of ULI is strong.
  • CEO Perspective: Technology and Civil Engagement
    Published on April 05, 2016 in Market Trends
    Over the past year, we’ve spent quite a bit of time examining the intersection of technology and real estate; the topic has dominated real estate sessions at ULI meetings, inspired Institute publications and articles, and come up in informal member-to-member exchanges.
  • CEO Perspective: A Year of Great Change
    Published on February 05, 2016 in Market Trends
    With 2016 under way, I am very excited and hopeful about the changes taking place at ULI this year. We are continuing to move forward in three key areas: 1) a new global governance structure; 2) a major new information technology initiative; and 3) a relocation into a new workplace in Washington, D.C.
  • CEO Perspective: Heed Millennials’ Demand for Affordability
    Published on January 15, 2016 in Market Trends
    This past October, an article in Business Insider described the lifestyle of a 23-year-old Google employee who decided to live inside the back of a delivery truck that he had purchased and parked at the company’s headquarters rather than pay an exorbitant rent to live in San Francisco. The lack of affordable housing in high-cost markets is, of course, nothing new. But what stories like this illustrate are examples of a new take on the housing problem that persists in cities around the world. Affordable housing is being discussed as much as a generation Y issue as it is an income issue. The lack of affordable housing in high-cost markets is, of course, nothing new. But what these stories illustrate are examples of a new take on the housing problem that persists in cities around the world. Affordable housing is being discussed as much as a generation Y issue as it is an income issue.
  • CEO Perspective: See You in San Francisco
    Published on September 15, 2015 in Market Trends
    The 2015 ULI Fall Meeting, set for October 5–8 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, is shaping up to be one of the most successful convenings in the organization’s history.
  • CEO Perspective: Bouncing Forward after Katrina
    Published on August 24, 2015 in Sustainability
    August 29 marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina flooding New Orleans and devastating the Gulf Coast. From an urban development perspective, this is an anniversary that is best marked not by looking back at what was lost, but by looking at what has happened since.
  • CEO Perspective: A People-First Approach
    Published on June 15, 2015 in Market Trends
    ULI’s 2015 Spring Meeting in Houston, open only to full members, exceeded our most optimistic expectations for participation, engagement, networking, and knowledge sharing.
  • CEO Perspective: Running Headlong into 2015
    Published on February 15, 2015 in Market Trends
    ULI has hit the ground running in 2015, with new products and activities that reinforce our focus on keeping the organization energized, innovative, and, most important, member-focused.
  • CEO Perspective: Wrapping Up 2014
    Published on December 15, 2014 in Market Trends
    ULI’s 2014 Fall Meeting in New York City was a blockbuster—with more than 6,200 attendees, including a record num­ber of nearly 4,700 paid registrants; a record $3.7 million in sponsorship revenue; numerous sold-out mobile tours of the area’s most innovative developments; a record 880 new members joining ULI to attend the meeting; and an agenda so filled with knowledge sharing that the closing concurrent sessions on the final day drew standing-room-only crowds.
  • CEO Perspective: A New Format for ULI’s Fall Meeting
    Published on September 15, 2014 in Market Trends
    CEO Perspective: September signals a busy time for ULI as we step up preparations for our signature event—the annual Fall Meeting.
  • Healthy Messages from the Terwilliger Housing Opportunity Conference
    Published on July 15, 2014 in Sustainability
    Since the launch of ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative a year ago, one of the most important lessons we have learned is the extent to which the work of our members influences all aspects of how well people live—in terms of both physical and mental health.
  • CEO Perspective: An Organization Ascendant
    Published on June 15, 2014 in News
    I am very pleased to report that ULI’s recent Spring Meeting in Vancouver was an extraordinary success.
  • CEO Perspective: Change Agents—and Young Professionals
    Published on May 02, 2014 in Market Trends
    One of ULI’s great strengths is the predictive nature of its work, helping members plan business strategies by identifying trends with stickiness—not just changes in design and development, but outside forces that will affect the built environment for decades to come.
  • ULI Perspective on the State of the Union Address
    Published on January 30, 2014 in Sustainability
    ULI CEO Patrick Phillips comments on President Obama's State of the Union address, which touched on improving infrastructure and mitigating the impact of climate change, from a land use perspective.
  • CEO Perspective: The Impact of Doing
    Published on January 06, 2014 in Market Trends
    Every ULI Fall Meeting raises the bar for the next one, and our 2013 meeting in Chicago did just that—with more than 5,500 members and guests in attendance, record levels of sponsorship from the top companies in the industry, and three days of programming that included many standing-room-only sessions.
  • CEO Perspective: Our Work toward Building Healthy Places
    Published on September 15, 2013 in Sustainability
    This past August, the Washington Post reported on the exploding popularity of D.C.’s three-year-old Capital Bikeshare program, pointing out that bike docking stations throughout the city are having trouble meeting demand from both residents and visitors seeking to bike from one place to another.
  • CEO Perspective: A More Urban – and Urbane – Existence
    Published on July 15, 2013 in Market Trends
    ULI has long been known as a source of solid intelligence on demographic trends and their relationship to land use and development. The Institute also has a long history of supporting more compact, mixed-use development patterns that reduce the dependence on cars.
  • CEO Perspective: Taking Stock at Midyear
    Published on July 08, 2013 in Market Trends
    By many measurements, the recent 2013 ULI Spring Meeting was a major success—record-breaking attendance; content-rich sessions; news coverage from the largest-ever press contingent for our Spring Meeting; record-high sponsorships; and a succession of dynamic keynote speakers emphasizing the rewards of innovative business strategies.
  • CEO Perspective: From a Rendezvous in Paris
    Published on April 12, 2013 in Market Trends
    Each year, ULI’s impressive lineup of global meetings kicks off in Europe with our real estate investment and development conference, held in Paris during the winter. The 2013 event, held February 5 and 6, drew more than 500 industry leaders from 24 countries around the world—reflecting a steady increase in the geographic diversity of attendees since we started hosting the meeting 17 years ago.
  • CEO Perspective: The ULI Matrix
    Published on February 22, 2013 in Planning & Design
    ULI is starting the new year with an extraordinary expansion of our reach and influence on a global basis, an accomplishment made possible by your support of the Institute and your belief in our ability to make a positive difference.
  • CEO Perspective: A Message Following Hurricane Sandy
    Published on November 15, 2012 in News
    Several years ago, while I was with ERA, I participated in the preparation of a redevelopment plan for the beautiful harbor front in Hamilton, Bermuda. When our work was completed, someone raised the question: what about rising sea levels?
  • A Holistic Approach to City Building
    Published on October 01, 2012 in Market Trends
    Over the past year, an overarching theme at ULI events has been rethinking urban development for the 21st century to better meet the needs of cities grappling with myriad challenges resulting from rapid urbanization, population and demographic shifts, new economic drivers, and increasing environmental concerns. One of the most engaging and provocative discussions on this topic occurred at our Global Metropolitan Summit, cohosted this summer by ULI with the Citistates Group—a network of journalists, speakers, and civic leaders focused on building sustainable cities and metropolitan regions.
  • Engaging the World through Partnerships
    Published on September 05, 2012 in Sustainability
    Several partnerships ULI has established over the past several months—including those with the World Economic Forum (WEF), Aspen Institute, and Centre for Liveable Cities in ­Singapore—are presenting new opportunities for the Institute to think big, think ahead, and think beyond the norm.
  • Four Goals to Guide ULI
    Published on June 01, 2012 in Industry Sectors
    May was a busy month for the Urban Land Institute. Our global reach was showcased at high-profile, back-to-back meetings in the United States, Asia, and Europe—each with a different focus, but all addressing the Institute’s core goal of creating vibrant communities for the 21st century.
  • Benchmarks for Sustainability
    Published on April 24, 2012 in Sustainability
    In anticipation of the 2012 ULI Spring Meeting, "The Power to Lead, the Energy to Thrive," being hosted by Charlotte, North Carolina, May 8-10, ULI CEO Patrick Phillips discusses how market demand is driving the trend of making buildings' energy-performance data more visible. Phillips outlines how ULI is repositioning itself to be a smarter, more influential, and more effective organization through the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance.
  • MAP-21: A Step in the Right Direction for Transportation
    Published on March 19, 2012 in Infrastructure
    Patrick Phillips, chief executive officer of ULI, comments on the transporation legislation approved by the U.S. Senate on March 14 by a 74-22 vote, entitled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” or MAP-21. Phillips states that, while Senate bill 1813 proposes no significant additional funding, ULI is encouraged at the bi-partisan support for this bill, because it signals the importance of a strong transportation policy for America.
  • Think Globally, Act Locally
    Published on February 15, 2012 in Market Trends
    Against the backdrop of a relatively glum economic outlook for 2012, ULI is continuing to expand, offering its “multilocal” approach to create value for members and magnify the Institute’s beneficial impact.
  • Serving Those Who Follow
    Published on December 15, 2011 in Fall Meeting
    This year’s Fall Meeting in Los Angeles—which kicked off the institute’s 75th anniversary celebration—was particularly focused on the long-term future of the industry and ULI.
  • 9/11 and the Built Environment: What’s Different, What’s Not
    Published on September 06, 2011 in Market Trends
    Did 9/11 change the way we live? With the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks upon us, Patrick Phillips considers the answer to this question as he remembers ULI’s 2001 Fall Meeting, which was scheduled for Boston during the first week of October that year. Read what the Institute’s CEO has to say about that fateful meeting vis-à-vis Americans’ continuing migration back to downtowns.
  • Significant Advances
    Published on June 29, 2011 in Market Trends
    Under past chairman Jeremy Newsum’s leadership, ULI has rallied together, and, through the process of asking some tough questions, members have raised their collective view about what the Institute can accomplish. Read about three significant advances made at ULI during Newsum’s two-year tenure.
  • Creating Living Environments
    Published on June 08, 2011 in Market Trends
    The ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, held in Seattle this year, is as thought provoking as it is fun, providing a chance to reflect in a broad sense on how the next generation of land use professionals will be planning, designing, and developing our cities. Find out which team won this year and learn about the approach it took to an inner-ring Seattle suburb.
  • Win the Future
    Published on April 19, 2011 in Market Trends
    While many markets and property sectors continue to struggle, there is a general feeling that the worst is over. This point in time—when the wind is no longer in our face, but not yet at our backs—might be considered our industry’s "Sputnik moment." Read what ULI Trustees state as the short-term priorities for ULI to ensure its relevance to members and reinforce its position as the global authority on responsible land use.
  • Video: Not Your Father’s Housing Market
    Published on March 30, 2011 in Industry Sectors
    Affordable workforce housing will play a key role in the post-recession economy, said ULI chief executive officer Patrick Phillips at a workforce housing forum hosted earlier this month in Orlando by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing. Listen to what Phillips sees as signs of life in the housing recovery and what the challenges are to providing the right mix of housing.
  • The Next 75 Years
    Published on January 04, 2011 in Market Trends
    The year 2011 marks 75 years of leadership in land use. But, while this is a milestone anniversary, it is a time to look forward to the next 75 years. Our decisions on what and where to develop will be guided not by a plentiful supply of land throughout urban regions, but by how best to use the land that is left. Dramatic changes are necessitating a major overhaul in what and where we build. Read about the forces of change that Patrick Phillips, CEO of ULI, sees now in place.
  • The Time for Leadership
    Published on December 17, 2010 in Market Trends
    Over a two-week period this fall, I had the opportunity to attend two ULI meetings, in two very different cities, with two equally different formats: a ULI Europe Leadership Retreat in Istanbul, Turkey, followed by the 2010 ULI Fall Meeting and Expo in Washington, D.C. The backdrop for the two meetings could not have been more different. Read about what they shared despite being such seemingly different events.
  • Development Evolves to Embrace Our Future
    Published on November 19, 2010 in Market Trends
    The year 2000 was the midpoint of two decades in which urban cores were being rebuilt as places to work and live. While this downtown growth has resulted in a remarkable shift in how we view our cities, it’s but one aspect of the evolution in urban growth that is going to intensify in the years ahead. Read what Patrick Phillips, chief executive officer of ULI, sees as the lessons we’ve learned and what forces of change are now in place for going forward.
  • Collaboration is Key
    Published on September 01, 2010 in Default Category
    The forces of decentralization remain far stronger than those of reconcentration, but this is common in politically fragmented regions like Greater Washington. As a result, financing to address the region's infrastructure needs in order to better serve residents and workers - on the outer edges as well as close in - remains the metro area's most formidable challenge.
  • A Force for Change
    Published on July 01, 2010 in Capital Markets
    The real estate industry has reached a pivot point, one at which land use is as much or more about the management and redevelopment of existing space as it is about new development. This emphasis on rebuilding and reusing the old and obsolete illustrates how the “use of land” cited in ULI’s mission encompasses existing buildings and what happens in them, how they are operated, and how they perform over time. Nowhere was this more apparent than at ULI’s recent forum on financing tools for energy-saving retrofits, held in New York City in early June.
  • Keeping at the Forefront of Leadership
    Published on May 01, 2010 in Development
    The retail real estate market currently suffers from an oversupply of space—the result of overbuilding before the financial crisis struck in 2008—plus a dearth of retailers now willing and able to fill space. Consumer spending is down for the foreseeable future as the buying public remains wary of returning to the days of large credit-card debt. While welllocated retail destinations may continue to thrive and maintain national retailers, plenty of others are going to keep losing tenants. In this environment, town centers and mixed-use centers may have an edge over their mall counterparts.
  • Tie Infrastructure to Land Use
    Published on March 01, 2010 in Planning & Design
    The future of cities could be considered the centerpiece of the Urban Land Institute’s entire program of work. How and where we will live and work and how we will get from one place to another in the decades ahead are issues that will shape urban growth patterns and change our approach to planning, design, and development.
  • Pass It On
    Published on January 01, 2010 in Market Trends
    As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, it’s clear that the land use industry globalization so prevalent during the past ten years will become even more expansive in the years ahead.