“Right now, communities are facing some of the most pressing land use challenges of our time: climate change, affordable housing shortages, a lack of restorative infrastructure investments, and much more. The campaign will allow ULI to work toward scalable solutions—leveraging the unique combination of industry knowledge, experience, and vision possessed by ULI’s diverse membership of land use professionals,” said Ron Pressman, ULI global CEO.
Conceived in 2019, Our Cities, Our Future will fuel ULI’s efforts to promote the decarbonization of the built environment, educate the next generation of diverse real estate industry leaders, and make housing more attainable.
“ULI’s work to improve communities around the world has never been more necessary, and the campaign is integral to expanding our reach and impact,” said Tom Toomey, campaign co-chair and Chairman and CEO of UDR. “Our Cities, Our Future allows ULI to pursue its mission in a way like never before. I have no doubt its influence and positive change in the places we live and work will be felt for generations to come.”
To date, the campaign has reached 70 percent of its fundraising goal, and campaign gifts are already creating impact. Highlights of the work that has been started include:
- Earlier this year, Randall Lewis gave $10 million to name the ULI Randall Lewis Center for Sustainability in Real Estate. The center focuses on creating healthy, sustainable, and resilient communities around the world.
- Owen Thomas gave $1 million to launch the Net Zero Imperative (NZI), which is an initiative that seeks to accelerate decarbonization in the built environment. In its first year, NZI hosted technical assistance panels in six global cities to help the public and private sectors develop a roadmap to net zero.
- Ron Nahas committed $1 million to support UrbanPlan, a realistic, engaging exercise in which participants—high school students, university students, and public officials—can learn the fundamental forces that affect development in our communities.
- A $1 million gift from Bruce Etkin created the Etkin Scholars Program, which introduces college and university students to the resources available through ULI membership and seeks to integrate those students into the ULI path of learning.
- Last month, Carolyn and Preston Butcher gave $1.5 million to create the Homeless to Housed Initiative. The Initiative will be part of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, which focuses on advancing best practices in residential development and public policy and supports creating and sustaining a full spectrum of housing opportunities, particularly for low- and moderate-income households.
- In 2021, three longtime members and leaders, James D. Klingbeil, Tom Toomey, and Doug Abbey, came together to make a $17 million inaugural contribution to the ULI Chair’s Fund. The Chair’s Fund is an unrestricted fund and gives ULI the flexibility to respond quickly to new opportunities as it evolves into an organization more focused on impact and mission delivery.
- In addition to ULI’s member donors, the Foundation has also received major grants totaling over $10 million from: the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, JPB Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation.
“This campaign is a demonstration of the extraordinary generosity of our donors – and a testament to the great work ULI does,” said Doug Abbey, campaign co-chair and Partner at IHP Capital Partners. “The funds we raise through Our Cities, Our Future, will power real, lasting change in cities big and small. When we come together, we can make a monumental difference across the globe.”
“I’m awed by the generosity of our member donors — and the immense progress we’ve made in such a short time,” said Janice Periquet, president of the Urban Land Institute Foundation. “I’m proud to work with icons from all sectors of the real estate community as we implement the principles of our mission. I can’t wait to see the collective impact we will make in cities worldwide.”
To learn more or to make a commitment to Our Cities, Our Future, visit foundation.uli.org/our-cities-our-future.