Back to Home

A Message from the

ULI Leadership Team

Read Their Letters

Lynn Thurber

Global Chairman, ULI

It is my pleasure to share ULI’s 2014 Annual Report, covering the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. During that time, every experience I had as ULI chairman reinforced my belief that ULI’s value proposition is leadership, knowledge sharing, and impact. This value proposition is reflected in every aspect of the Annual Report, which serves not just as a record of accomplishments, but also as a reminder of what distinguishes ULI as the world’s leading authority on responsible land use and urban development.


Lynn Thurber presents a ULI Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Award during the 2013 ULI Fall Meeting.

The expansion of the Institute’s influence in 2014—illustrated through progress ranging from successful Advisory Services panels related to health and resilience to the introduction of new knowledge-sharing tools—is a reflection of the contributions each of our members is making to ULI’s legacy. By giving back expertise, time, and support, each member has helped ULI solidify its reputation as a global organization unified in its pursuit of creating better communities.

Every Annual Report raises the bar for the next one, and the 2014 report does this by demonstrating the substantive impact ULI continues to have at both the local and global levels. It includes a series of impact stories that focus on ULI’s six priority areas: advising communities in need, shaping cities and regions, developing excellence through education, driving innovation in real estate and urban development, building sustainably, and connecting capital and the built environment. Each story shows what happened as a result of ULI being at the table, presenting a new way of thinking and offering a different perspective that catalyzed positive change.

For example, ULI’s impact is evident in the story of:

  • Singapore, where the National Council used an Urban Innovation Grant to explore how to make the city-state more bikeable, resulting in a well-received e-book with active mobility tips applicable to urban areas around the world;
  • Colorado, where a series of Advisory Services panels convened in suburban, urban, and rural areas to focus on transforming the communities into healthy places, catalyzing changes now being put into practice;
  • The United Kingdom, where the National Council led local industry leaders on tours of rental housing developments in the United States, leading to the creation of a how-to guide for building rental units aimed at increasing the U.K. housing supply; and
  • Minnesota, where the District Council initiated a program to increase the stock of affordable housing based on a Terwilliger Center report identifying solutions for affordable housing development. This effort is a direct result of the generous support ULI leader Ron Terwilliger has given ULI to raise awareness of housing as the foundation for health and economic stability.


ULI Singapore and the Centre for Liveable Cities conducting a collaborative research project on how to make Singapore more bikeable.

What each impact story illustrates is—quite simply—ULI at work. Each shows how ULI pushes the envelope with practical, powerful solutions that help communities prosper for generations to come. That’s the outcome of ULI’s value proposition of leadership, knowledge sharing, and impact.

That’s the outcome of ULI’s value proposition of leadership, knowledge sharing, and impact.

In 2014, our members demonstrated leadership and knowledge sharing to drive impact in myriad ways, such as:

  • Sharing project details while serving as a panelist at one of our major meetings;
  • Sharing mistakes made and lessons learned at a District Council gathering;
  • Mentoring Young Leaders;
  • Teaching a class offered through the ULI Real Estate School;
  • Critiquing graduate students’ development proposals as a juror for the ULI Hines Competition;
  • Helping high school students reimagine their communities through UrbanPlan; and
  • Helping community stakeholders improve their communities through Reality Check.

The year 2014 was a tremendous one for giving back to ULI: our members contributed the equivalent of nearly $4 million in hours volunteered on behalf of the Institute. It was also a successful year for forging partnerships, including a partnership with The Kresge Foundation to support ULI’s work to create resilient communities, and one with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support ULI’s emphasis on housing as a cornerstone of healthy, thriving communities. This extraordinary level of engagement is what makes all of ULI’s work so credible, trusted, and valued around the world. And what we collectively accomplished in 2014 will ultimately lead to better communities in 2015 and the years ahead. Thank you for your leadership in fulfilling ULI’s mission.


Lynn_Thurber_signatureLynn Thurber Global Chairman, ULI

James Curtis III

Chairman, ULI Foundation, FY 2013–2014

Geoffrey Stack

Chairman, ULI Foundation Annual Fund, FY 2009–2014

Over the past year, the ULI Foundation has helped showcase ULI as an outcome-oriented, philanthropic enterprise committed to creating vibrant, sustainable communities worldwide. To achieve this objective, we worked to improve transparency, accountability, communications, and stewardship through three areas of emphasis:

  • Humanizing the work of the Foundation and ULI in terms of the real impact they have on people’s lives;
  • Raising awareness of the role philanthropy plays in connecting ULI’s output to impact; and
  • Improving ULI’s stewardship of our members’ contributions of time, talent, and treasure, in terms of content, outputs, and outcomes.

We are very proud of how much was achieved in 2014 to collectively brand ULI as a philanthropic enterprise worthy of an investment to reinforce the Institute’s impact—a real, far-reaching impact that is improving the lives of millions of people in communities around the world.

ULI’s 2014 Annual Report shows the positive change made by members who are doing well by doing good—members who are giving back to their Institute, their industry, and their communities to advance ULI’s mission. Together, we are creating a better world through better communities—a cause that guides every funding decision made by the Foundation.

A key component of the ULI Foundation is, of course, our Annual Fund. It was a banner year for donations in 2014: the Fund received contributions of nearly $1.68 million—an outstanding level that includes contributions from more than 2,000 Product Council members. The 2014 total represents 100 percent participation from 14 Product Councils, and a year-over-year increase in giving from 22 Councils.

“Together, we are creating a better world through better communities—a cause that guides every funding decision made by the Foundation.”



Geoffrey L. Stack and James Curtis III deliver remarks about the Foundation during a general session at the 2013 ULI Fall Meeting.

In addition to longtime ULI offerings such as the awards programs, the Hines Competition, UrbanPlan, Advisory Services, and existing centers such as the Rose Center and Terwilliger Center, the Annual Fund supported new additions to ULI’s program of work in 2014:

  • A policy initiative to track land use policies at all levels of government;
  • A series of activities related to the Building Healthy Places initiative;
  • The creation of the ULI Center for Sustainability;
  • A ULI Visiting Fellows program; and
  • A Real Estate Entrepreneur program.

The Foundation also welcomed 18 new governors last year: Thomas Arnold, Charles Burd, Marty Burger, Kathleen Carey, Lawrence Casey, William Chilton, James Ellis, Tyler Higgins, Stanley Iezman, Steven Kohn, Linda Law, Arthur Lorenzini, Douglas Lyons, Lauralee Martin, Stephen Navarro, Eric Swanson, Serena Wolfe, and Margaret Wylde.

In addition, the generosity of our members was reflected in major gifts totaling $185,000 to support a variety of ULI services and programs in 2014, including Advisory Services panels, technology advancements, publications, scholarships, and forums. btm_img2

ULI Urban Open Space Award winner: The Yards Park in Washington, D.C.

All of this shows the extraordinary level of support the Foundation provides ULI to expand its reach and influence. Through the actions of members who are embracing ULI’s cause and advancing its mission, ULI is making a measurable difference worldwide. Thank you for giving back to our Institute, our industry, and our communities.

Thank you,

Jim_Curtis_signatureJames J. Curtis III Chairman, ULI Foundation, FY 2013–2014
Geoffrey_Stack_signatureGeoffrey L. Stack Chairman, ULI Foundation Annual Fund, FY 2009–2014

Patrick L. Phillips

Global Chief Executive Officer, ULI

Hello. I’m Patrick Phillips, global chief executive officer of the Urban Land Institute. It’s my pleasure to bring you our 2014 Annual Report. Last year was—by many measurements—a very good year for our Institute. We took advantage of the economic recovery to expand our program of work and our knowledge-sharing capacity, all with the goal of keeping ULI at the forefront of thought leadership in land use and real estate.

First, we built on our work in the creation of livable communities with exciting new endeavors in the areas of health and resilience. Our Building Healthy Places initiative began a series of efforts exploring the connection between land use and healthy living environments and showing how we can build our way to healthier communities.

In addition, we started our Urban Resilience Program, which looks at how cities can prepare for the impacts of climate change. The program stemmed from an Advisory Services panel that evaluated rebuilding the communities hit by Hurricane Sandy. I’m very proud of our progress in the areas of health and resilience. It has led to new collaborative efforts with partners such as The Kresge Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Colorado Health Foundation.


An aerial view of the damage to the New Jersey coast caused by Hurricane Sandy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)


We raised the bar for knowledge sharing and networking with several highly successful global meetings, each of which offered new opportunities for members to swap lessons learned with peers from around the world. And we made headway in improvements in technology and member communications to extend knowledge sharing beyond the meetings. We did this by investing in the talent and systems required to support a broad, web-based, highly interactive member network. This commitment to member service started with the launch of an e-commerce system and an online video library of key sessions from our major meetings.

All of these accomplishments in 2014 were capped with a boost in membership. Our numbers jumped above the 30,000 mark for the first time since 2008, with increases posted for the Americas, Asia, and Europe. And while this raised our revenue, this increase helped us achieve a far more important goal—mission delivery.


The Olympic Village bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia.

As we look to next year, there is a palpable sense of optimism and anticipation. Thanks to you, ULI is trusted and respected around the world as a thought leader that turns big ideas and bold visions into reality. With your support, ULI is making a meaningful, lasting impact every day.


Patrick_Phillips_signaturePatrick L. Phillips  Global Chief Executive Officer, ULI