A winter “light festival” draws people to London’s Canary Wharf. (Shutterstock)

ULI is excited to announce the launch of Art in Place, a global cohort of ULI National and District Councils working independently and together to connect artists, developers, and community voices. The program is the next step in ULI’s ongoing commitment to creative placemaking focused on the integration of art, culture, and creativity as levers of community revitalization.

Through the program, six ULI National and District Councils will organize a series of local events and Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) to engage artists, creatives, and real estate decision makers to advance equitable outcomes, empower collective action, and repair the social fabric through the arts and creative placemaking.  

“Imagine how real estate outcomes might be different if artists and other creatives were engaged on day one, instead of art being added at the end of a development project,” says ULI Creative Placemaking Fellow and project advisor Juanita Hardy. “The goal of Art in Place is to demonstrate how consideration of art and creativity on the front-end can create healthier and more equitable places.”  

Over the course of 18-months, the cohort of Councils will organize work around three primary goals:  

  • Amplifying community voices and artist perspectives to advance equitable outcomes;
  • Empowering collective action by connecting artists and community groups with real estate professionals; and
  • Repairing the social fabric by encouraging partnerships between artists, creatives, and land use professionals.  

The six participating national and district councils, along with their areas of focus, include:  

  • ULI Austin: Incorporating creative spaces in Austin’s existing and future developments. 
  • ULI Cleveland: Addressing historic inequities in community art funding and installation in Cleveland. 
  • ULI Colorado: Reimagining the Steamboat Springs Depot and railyard as a creative hub. 
  • ULI Hong Kong:  Integrating art into real estate in Hong Kong. 
  • ULI Louisiana: Advancing relationships between local creatives and real estate leaders to support creative placemaking in Baton Rouge. 
  • ULI NW Arkansas: Spurring art collaborations in Bentonville, a culturally underserved region.

ULI plans to expand the cohort with more national and district councils over time. As Art in Place grows, it will continue to highlight the power of art in making our communities more livable and vibrant places. 

ULI Trustee and Julia Morgan Society member Michael Spies speaking at the Institute’s 2022 Fall Meeting in Dallas.

“Inclusion is fundamental to successful development.   It joins with “Place” to form key building blocks upon which healthy, sustainable communities are created,” said project funder Michael Spies. “We know that when art, culture, and creativity are integrated into real estate development, it creates powerful outcomes for residents and businesses alike. I am excited by the potential of this new global cohort to leverage the power of creativity to highlight more equitable outcomes in their communities.”  

The lessons learned from this work will be shared across the greater National and District Council network and with the wider ULI membership.   

Funding for the cohort is generously provided by ULI Trustee and Julia Morgan Society member Michael Spies and managed by the Building Healthy Places team. More information about the program can be found on ULI’s website.