Building Better Communities Through Advisory Services

For more than 70 years, ULI’s globally renowned Advisory Services program has convened experts representing all aspects of real estate and urban planning to participate on panels offering recommendations for complex planning and development projects, programs, and policies. As yet, panelists have developed solutions for more than 700 assignments spanning the full spectrum of real estate–related issues, from reusing obsolete waterfront industrial properties to rebuilding downtowns ravaged by economic decline, natural disasters, or both.

In fiscal year 2019, ULI continued its legacy of advisory work by assisting 17 communities in the Americas and Europe with a variety of urban development–related challenges, including the following: 

– Creating housing and revitalizing neighborhoods in Dublin, Ireland. 

– Improving urban resilience in Downtown Miami. 

– Reimagining parks and open spaces in San Antonio. 

– Economic and equitable development strategies for North Charleston, South Carolina. 

– Creating additional park space throughout Detroit. 

– Expanding downtown park space in Atlanta. 

– Revitalizing suburban corridors in Irvington Plaza, Indianapolis.  

– Revitalizing commercial corridors and boosting economic development in rural Hancock County, Indiana. 

– Adapting properties for reuse and revitalizing neighborhoods in Detroit. 

– Rebuilding following hurricanes in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. 

– Enhancing economic development in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  

– Revitalizing urban areas and boosting economic competitiveness in Wolfsburg, Germany. 

– Increasing transit-oriented development and public spaces in Sacramento, California. 

– Disaster recovery and economic recovery in Port Aransas, Texas. 

– Boosting employment opportunities through economic diversification in Morgan City and Berwick, Louisiana. 

– Exploring tactical building reuse and preservation in Detroit. 

– Revitalizing the downtown in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

Service on an Advisory Services panel entails ULI members from outside the community volunteering to spend five days in the community evaluating the assignment (which includes site tours and interviews with a wide variety of stakeholders) and drafting initial recommendations for solutions that are presented at the conclusion of the panel’s visit. This is followed by a more detailed report provided to panel sponsors. In fiscal year 2019, nearly 150 members volunteered to serve as Advisory Services panelists.

  • “The strength of Advisory Services lies in ULI’s unique ability to draw on the substantial knowledge of its members to offer independent, objective solutions to vexing urban development challenges. At its core, the program is all about offering innovative approaches to building better communities.”

    – W. Edward Walter, ULI Global Chief Executive Officer

ULI offers a local version of the Advisory Services program, technical assistance panels, which are convened bdistrict councils and involve district council members volunteering their expertise for one- to three-day panels that address an array of urban challengesIn fiscal year 2019, more than 300 members participated on 39 technical assistance panels, including the following:  

– Boosting neighborhood connectivity in Washington, D.C. (ULI Washington). 

– Revitalizing a key commercial corridor in Los Angeles (ULI Los Angeles). 

– Reviving a downtown commercial area in San Francisco (ULI San Francisco). 

– Building for diversity in Sleepy Hollow, New York (ULI New York and ULI Westchester/Fairfield). 

– Redeveloping the Savannah Civic Center in Savannah, Georgia (ULI Atlanta). 

– Redeveloping a multifamily-commercial neighborhood in Northbridge, Massachusetts (ULI Boston/New England). 

– Reviving a major commercial corridor in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (ULI Philadelphia). 

– Historic property preservation and reuse in Cincinnati (ULI Cincinnati). 

– Downtown revitalization in Casa Grande, Arizona (ULI Arizona). 

– Reuse of downtown public parcels in Harrisonburg, Virginia (ULI Virginia).

Several of the Advisory Services panels were supported with philanthropic funding, including support from the ULI Foundation as well as other foundations, including the Colorado Health Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and The JPB Foundation.

Support provided by the ULI Foundation for the Advisory Services program reflects an emphasis by the Institute’s Global Strategic Plan on a more proactive approach to community assistance. The plan calls for a shift in the Advisory Services business model that will allow ULI to choose panel assignments in addition to responding to requests from individual panel sponsors. In addition, the scope of the Advisory Services program is being expanded to include a particular focus on issues of universal importance such as increasing the stock of attainable housing, improving resilience to climate change, and the redevelopment of cities to make them more inclusive and to reflect the growing diversity of older as well as younger generations.

Support Advisory Services with a gift to the Annual Fund and the ULI Foundation.

Explore ULI Advisory Services panel reports and technical assistance panel reports in Knowledge Finder.

Apply to serve on an Advisory Services panel or a technical assistance panel through Navigator.


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