As ULI’s flagship publication and a key member benefit, Urban Land magazine brings to life the latest trends in real estate development and land use industry topics from around the world. Through evocative writing and best-in-class photography and graphics, the magazine offers members in-depth coverage of the major economic, technological, and social forces shaping development and investment decision making; analyses of market drivers and policy trends influencing the built environment; practical solutions and responses to risks and opportunities within real estate markets; and features on cutting-edge projects that are remaking streetscapes and skylines everywhere.
Urban Land Online offers readers multimedia and up-to-the-minute coverage of industry trends, new research undertaken by ULI centers and initiatives, major ULI conferences and meetings, and the latest market-shaping economic indicators. Below is a summary of the magazine’s work in FY 2016:
Expansion of International Coverage
In FY 2016, Urban Land continued to evolve, increasing its coverage of topics relevant to members and developments occurring outside the United States. Notable articles included a feature on the transformation of the Huishan North Bund in Shanghai from a commercial dock serving heavy industry into a vibrant, multiuse district with a renovated marina to encourage live/work/play activity; an analysis of affordable housing needs throughout Asia as the region’s pace of urbanization quickens; major redevelopment of Tokyo neighborhoods; and coverage of densification—particularly through the lens of European and Asian markets—a topic that the Institute’s European members have been actively engaged in through the ULI Europe density initiative.
Another recurring feature that reflects global development practices is ULX, which explores ten state-of-the-art projects around a single theme. In FY 2016, ULX explored a variety of themes, including tech-oriented workplaces, climate-resilient development, and adaptive use of historic assets. Coverage of the Institute’s four major FY 2016 convenings—the 2015 ULI Fall Meeting, the 2016 ULI Europe Conference, the 2016 ULI Spring Meeting, and the 2016 Asia Pacific Summit—provided an opportunity for members to learn about development trends in global markets. Also contributing to the expansion of Urban Land’s global coverage was the inclusion of profiles of the 2015 Global Awards for Excellence winners and the publication of several ULI Case Studies from Europe and Asia.
Growth of Online Readership
While the print version of Urban Land is a member-only benefit, Urban Land Online enjoys a wider—and steadily growing—readership. In FY 2016, the online magazine got over 1 million page views—a 20 percent increase from FY 2015. October 2015 was an especially popular month for the online magazine, receiving more than 102,000 page views in that month. The increase in traffic to the site was driven in part by coverage of the 2015 ULI Fall Meeting in San Francisco as well as by articles on noteworthy projects in the San Francisco Bay area. By the end of FY 2016, the weekly email newsletter featuring exclusive online content reached more than 14,000 readers each week.
Focus on San Francisco and Philadelphia
The locations of the Institute’s Fall and Spring Meetings serve as two anchor points for Urban Land coverage each fiscal year. In FY 2016, the cities of San Francisco, where the 2015 ULI Fall Meeting occurred, and Philadelphia, the site of the 2016 ULI Spring Meeting, captured the spotlight for the September/October 2015 and March/April 2016 issues, respectively.
The September/October issue was devoted to exploring catalytic projects in the San Francisco Bay area, including the Transbay Transit Center, a transformational multimodal transit center that is connected to the new Salesforce Tower, slated to be the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco; transit-oriented, walkable mixed-use development in San Jose, a Silicon Valley city known for sprawl; and new affordable housing developments in the emerging neighborhood of Mission Bay.
The March/April issue delved into Philadelphia’s comeback as the city replenishes its population with millennials and members of other generations through new residential and office developments in urban neighborhoods, particularly Center City. This issue highlighted how real estate is meeting the needs of Philadelphia’s new tech-oriented economy through the transformation of the Philadelphia Navy Yard from an industrial site to a modern corporate campus and the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, known as the “vertical version of Silicon Valley.”
Technology was a major theme explored in Urban Land articles throughout the fiscal year, including a feature on driverless car technology that won the 2016 Apgar Urban Land Award. Contributing writer Patrick J. Kiger received the award for “Imagining the Driverless City,” an in-depth look at the various driverless technologies—from drones to driverless cars—that will reshape the urban environment just as the automobile once did. The award, accepted by Kiger at the 2016 ULI Spring Meeting in Philadelphia, honors excellence in writing on a real estate or land use industry topic in Urban Land magazine, and is endowed by ULI Foundation Governor Mahlon “Sandy” Apgar IV.
Learn more at urbanland.uli.org.