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Cities across the globe need to develop stronger, more adaptive environments to meet the challenges of an increasingly volatile climate that threatens intensified storm seasons and rising sea levels. To encourage resilience efforts worldwide, the Urban Land Institute will hold “Building the Resilient City” this September in San Francisco. The conference will bring together real estate professionals and thought leaders on climate change to share best practices on how cities and new development can become more resilient in ways that improve public spaces, add value, and minimize risk.

ULI’s chairman, Lynn Thurber, of LaSalle Investment Management, and ULI San Francisco District Chair, Jeff Smith, of Sack Properties, will open the conference and provide their perspectives on building resilient cities. Harriet Tregoning, new director of the HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience, will discuss the role of the federal government in creating resilient cities, and Henk Ovink will present best practices learned from Rebuild by Design, an initiative of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and HUD that is spurring development and policy innovations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Margaret Davidson, who leads NOAA’s coastal inundation and resilience efforts, will present latest insights into climate change's impact and the importance of linking data, technology and sustainable coastal development practices.

On Friday morning of the conference, we will explore how world cities are leveraging natural ecosystems to create multifunctional, protective open spaces that also help catalyze new private development and economic growth. Sarah Slaughter, Executive Director of the Built Environment Coalition, will moderating the session Getting More Bang for the Buck: Leveraging Green Infrastructure to Create Value and Reduce Risk" and will be joined by distinguished panelists Thomas Woltz of Nelson Byrd Woltz, Karen Kubick of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and Bry Sarte of Sherwood Design Engineers.

Please join us on this interactive panel as we discuss ground-breaking projects that create value, mitigate risk, and elevate green design to the next level.

Building the Resilient City” will take place Thursday and Friday, September 4 and 5, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Registration information is available here

Libby Seifel is serving on the ULI conference planning committee and is coordinating the session “Getting More Bang for the Buck” in collaboration with John McIlwain of ULI and Claire Bonham-Carter of AECOM.

"There is no finish line. Resilience is an ongoing process."
-Yukimoto Ito, vice mayor of Sendai, speaking after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

 


On April 8, Libby spoke to members of Victoria, British Columbia’s chapter of the Urban Development Institute (UDI)on what creates value in real estate. Her presentation, “Leveraging Value to Create Great Places”, explored real-world examples of development happening in our very own city: the Transbay Transit Center District and Mission Bay. Looking at the value premiums created by transit, open space, and other neighborhood amenities, Libby shared with UDI members insight into the costs of development and the value creation of these and similar transit-focused and sustainable communities. 

In spring of last year, UDI members paid a visit to San Francisco to observe some of the exciting projects currently underway in our City. With Seifel staff as their guide, UDI members were able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Transbay project before heading out to a tour of Mission Bay

UDI is a non-profit association of the development industry in British Columbia, whose members include individuals and organizations involved in all facets of development and land-use planning. UDI is actively involved in government relations, professional development and education, and research. Committed to working with communities and governments to create and achieve balanced, well-planned, and sustainable communities, UDI works to promote efficient urban growth, good planning and good development practices, affordable housing, and high quality commercial and industrial developments. More information on UDI is available here.


To remain globally competitive, cities around the world are expanding their transit networks and encouraging the development of dense urban neighborhoods. The Bay Area is one of the world’s most robust economies and San Francisco is emerging as a major hub for many rapidly expanding technology and knowledge service companies. In the recent publication Transbay Transit Center: Key Investment in San Francisco’s Future as a World Class City, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority hails the Transbay Transit Center, considered the “Grand Central of the West,” as one of San Francisco’s most important investments to assure long term success in an increasingly global economy. (A copy of Transbay Transit Center is available here.)

A public private partnership, the Transbay project, is transforming downtown San Francisco by creating a landmark multi-modal transit hub and a vibrant, walkable, transit-oriented development neighborhood featuring more than 11 acres of parks, public plazas, retail, and tree-lined streets. The improved transit access, public spaces, and neighborhood amenities provided by the project are projected to add $3.9 billion to the value of private property located within ¾ mile of the Transit Center. Additionally, redevelopment of public properties once occupied by the former Transbay Transit Terminal and abandoned freeway ramps is projected to stimulate over $4 billion in new development, much of which is already underway, including the 1.3 million square foot Transbay Transit Tower and more than 1,200 mixed-income residential units.

Research demonstrates that knowledge-service businesses thrive best in a compact, transit-rich environment. Better transit connectivity will help expand the regional labor market and make it easier for workers to reach jobs. Moreover, the use of transit instead of cars will foster increased physical activity, promote healthier living, and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by removing thousands of vehicles from our streets and highways. Regionally, the Bay Area will benefit from the creation of approximately 8,300 construction job years, 27,000 permanent jobs, and up to $87 billion in gross regional product through 2030.

For more on the Transbay Transit Center and its development, click here.

Seifel prepared Transbay Transit Center on behalf of the TJPA to highlight the numerous economic benefits that the Transbay Project will bring to San Francisco and the Bay Area region. In collaboration with The Concord Group, Seifel prepared the economic analysis of value premiums from transit, open space, and neighborhood amenities from the Transbay project.

Above construction photo credit: Patricia Chang