Urban Land, the Institute’s flagship publication, connects members around the world, allowing them to share their expertise and build synergies that will result in better communities and better lives. In a year challenged by pandemic, the magazine shifted to adapt to the new needs of ULI members.
At nearly 300 pages, the Fall 2019 issue, aligned with the ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., was among the largest ever published. But as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a shift to home-based workplaces, Urban Land added a new e-reader version to its print and online lineup. Not only does the e-reader version offer ULI members convenient access to their magazine regardless of their location, it also offers direct links to featured web-based documents and advertiser websites. In addition to receiving their printed magazine, members across the globe can access the e-reader through Knowledge Finder and can find frequently updated content through the online magazine at urbanland.uli.org. Each Monday, the popular “This Week in Urban Land” email directs readers to the latest content published in the online magazine.
Across all its formats, Urban Land’s content reflects the most pressing issues affecting land use. In fiscal year 2020, the compounding effects of the pandemic topped the list of compelling subjects. Urban Land offered timely articles on ways commercial real estate could adapt to and lead through an environment changed by COVID-19. These articles, developed in collaboration with ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative and Asia Pacific teams, offered practical recommendations from world-class experts in buildings and public health and were informed by ULI member experiences with COVID-19 and the 2003 SARS epidemic.
Urban Land’s content also reflected ULI’s growing emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Among the articles was a presentation of five strategies to increase racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, written by leaders of the Basis Impact Group (BIG) Foundation, and an essay on the business case for diversity and inclusion, written by Ralph Boyd, ULI senior resident fellow for leadership and strategy. In the Summer 2020 issue, published shortly after demonstrations demanding racial justice in policing spread across the United States, Adam Weers, a member of ULI Washington, shared a personal take on those events and how he felt compelled to act in his personal life and his profession.
Technology was another important theme running through the fiscal 2020 issues. The magazine published a special issue in November 2019 devoted entirely to the topic, including articles on 5G networks and on the technologies that Google sister company Sidewalk Labs had proposed for an expansive waterfront site in Toronto.
A highlight of each issue of Urban Land is the roundtable discussion among leaders in ULI’s product councils, which brings readers into the knowledge sharing that is the hallmark of these exclusive groups. In the past year, members of the new Technology Councils in Europe and Asia Pacific and the new Suburban Development and Redevelopment Council in the Americas offered their insights, along with members of the Public/Private Partnership Councils, the Senior Housing Council, and the Recreational Development Council.
In fall 2019, Urban Land launched Reading Lists. Available exclusively to ULI members through Knowledge Finder, Reading Lists curate top Urban Land stories on topics of high interest. Some of the most popular compilations addressed technology, building housing at scale, and logistics and light-industrial real estate.
ULI members are encouraged to share their views and expertise through Urban Land. Those interested in contributing thought leadership through the magazine may submit an inquiry on Navigator