ULI Asia Pacific & National Councils

ULI Asia Pacific Chairman Dr. N.H. Seek
ULI Asia Pacific Chairman Dr. N.H. Seek.

Since 2007, ULI Asia Pacific has been a nonpartisan convener and source of expertise on the responsible use of land and in creating thriving, sustainable communities. ULI Asia Pacific’s member network now includes more than 1,900 individual land use professionals, the region’s leading real estate development and investment firms, and several public sector agencies. Dr. Ngee Huat Seek, chairman of the board of directors of Singapore-based GLP, was selected as the inaugural ULI Asia Pacific chairman at the end of FY 2016.

Asia Pacific members represent the spectrum of land use disciplines; hail primarily from Australia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore; and share perspectives from the private, public, and nonprofit/academic sectors. In FY 2016, ULI Asia Pacific and seven national councils leveraged ULI’s internal resources as well as member expertise to pursue a diverse range of projects to advance the Institute’s mission. These projects engaged members to contribute solutions and ideas to improving livability, local economies, and quality of life. Below is a summary of major work undertaken by ULI Asia Pacific and its national council network in FY 2016:

Advisory Services Panel in Foshan

ULI Australia's Young Leaders Group launched its Urban Innovation Ideas Competition in Sydney.
ULI Australia’s Young Leaders Group launched its Urban Innovation Ideas Competition in Sydney.

Now coming into its own, Foshan is a second-tier city in China’s Pearl River Delta that historically has lain in powerhouse Guangzhou’s shadow. At the request of municipal leaders and Vincent Lo, the chairman of Shui On Land, a leading development firm in China, the ULI Advisory Services program convened a panel of land use experts to delineate strategies for transitioning Foshan’s economy from a manufacturing-based economy to an ideas- and innovation-based one. Chaired by Tom Murphy, ULI senior resident fellow and a former mayor of Pittsburgh, the panel recommended strengthening Foshan’s educational system; implementing land use strategies such as mixed-use, urban infill development; and injecting historic assets with dynamic, modern uses as strategies to attract and retain global talent and innovation companies. Learn more about the Foshan panel in Accomplishments – Advisory Services.

ULI Australia’s First Annual Urban Innovation Ideas Competition

ULI Asia Pacific’s national council network boasts active chapters of the Young Leaders Group (YLG), the Institute’s affinity group for members under the age of 35. In FY 2016, ULI Australia’s YLG chapter launched the Urban Innovation Ideas Competition for emerging property professionals to solicit creative ideas for redeveloping urban areas in Australian cities and give young people a voice in conversations about urban regeneration. The inaugural competition sought ideas for transforming George Street, a congested transportation corridor in Sydney’s central business district, into a pedestrian-friendly, people-oriented zone. The competition solicited several strong proposals and honored the winning submission, “George Street Living Room,” at the 2016 Asia Pacific Summit in Shanghai.

ULI Singapore member Scott Dunn was among those who led workshops on transforming Singapore into a "car-lite" city-state.
ULI Singapore member Scott Dunn spoke about research on “car-lite” mobility alternatives for Singapore at the World Cities Summit.

ULI Singapore and “Car-Lite” Mobility

Awarded a ULI Foundation Urban Innovation Grant in FY 2016, ULI Singapore partnered with the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) to study the feasibility of transportation alternatives to the automobile in Singapore and other growing Asian cities. ULI Singapore convened senior Institute members, urban planners, developers, and cycling advocates to brainstorm ways that the city-state and other congested Asian cities could transition into a “car-lite”—rather than car-free—society by harnessing the power of digital technologies, principles of demand management, and the sharing economy. ULI Singapore and the CLC initially presented insights gained from these workshops at the World Cities Summit in Singapore in July 2016. A full report on the topic was published and released at the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas.

 ULI Asia Pacific–World Economic Forum Leadership Symposium

Attendees discuss global forces shaping real estate at the ULI Asia Pacific Word Economic Forum.
Attendees discuss global forces shaping real estate at the ULI Asia Pacific World Economic Forum.

In December 2015, ULI Asia Pacific cohosted a symposium in Hong Kong on technology and real estate with the World Economic Forum. More than 50 leading real estate leaders from across Asia attended the symposium, which provided an intimate space for discussing the pace and impact of new technologies on the commercial, office, and retail sectors as well as the emergence of new forms of real estate such as coworking spaces that are disrupting traditional business models. Much of the forum was spent understanding how intelligent machines—the so-called internet of things or fourth industrial revolution—will shape the built environment in years to come. Insights from the forum were synthesized into Disruption: Buzzword or Reality, a white paper published by ULI Asia Pacific and the World Economic Forum.

Asia Pacific Summit and National Council Conferences

The ULI Asia Pacific Summit marked its fifth anniversary in 2016 with a dynamic lineup of international speakers and thought leaders and the most well-attended event since the inaugural summit in 2012. (Learn more about the 2016 ULI Asia Pacific Summit.) In addition, several national councils held regional conferences, including the Chinese Mainland Winter Meeting and the ULI Japan Fall Conference, focused on strengthening member connections and highlighting nation- and city-specific trends and issues.

At an inaugural WLI event in Hong Kong, ULI Global Trustee Richard Price moderated a panel discussion among women real estate leaders in Asia.
At an inaugural WLI event in Hong Kong, Richard Price, a ULI global trustee, moderated a panel discussion among women real estate leaders in Asia.

2015 China Cities Survey

Published annually, the ULI Chinese Mainland Real Estate Markets survey provides a snapshot of the investment and development prospects for China’s most populous cities. ULI Asia Pacific collaborates with the ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate to survey and interview top real estate development and investment professionals to understand the market forces and policy trends affecting real estate development in China. The information provides the basis of a new ranking each year of Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities in China, and an analysis of sector-specific trends. In FY 2016, the report reflected a cautious optimism toward Tier 1 cities such as Shanghai and Beijing as well as certain leading Tier 2 cities due to several trends: a burgeoning tech sector, demand for new housing and office spaces, and expansion of high-speed rail and subway lines in more cities.

Launch of Women’s Leadership Initiative Chapter in Hong Kong

In March 2016, ULI Hong Kong launched its own Women’s Leadership Initiative chapter, dedicated to raising the visibility of and promoting women to leadership roles within the real estate industry and the Institute itself. The chapter’s inaugural event was a thought-provoking panel, moderated by Richard Price, a ULI global trustee, featuring several high-achieving women in real estate discussing their strategies for advancement and personal experiences of managing work/life balance.

Learn more about ULI Asia Pacific and its National Council Network.