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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Urban Land Institute Receives Grant from the Leichtag Foundation to Support Institute’s Food and Real Estate Program

Press Release – WASHINGTON (September 28, 2016) – The Urban Land Institute (ULI), a research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving communities worldwide, has been awarded a $115,000 grant from the Leichtag Foundation to support the institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative’s focus on food and real estate. This effort seeks to explore the intersection between real estate development and food, and demonstrate how access to fresh food can help enhance human health, the environment, social equity and food system security, as well as community sustainability and prosperity.

With the support of the Leichtag Foundation, ULI will expand its work on the connection between food and real estate, working with members and partners to explore trends and opportunities at the intersection of food, real estate, and community farming, as well as sustainable, equitable, and financially-favorable approaches to integrating food access into real estate projects. This work will build on ULI’s existing activities in this area, including a comprehensive report on food and real estate that will be available at the institute’s Fall Meeting, which will be held October 24-27 in Dallas.

ULI’s food and real estate program is part of its Building Healthy Places initiative, which leverages the power of ULI’s global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities, and its Center for Sustainability, which is dedicated to creating healthy, resilient, and high-performance communities around the world.

ULI’s work will consist of the following over a two-year period:

  • ULI will conduct targeted outreach and local programming that engages ULI’s sizeable member networks in exploring opportunities to support and leverage the growing interest in community farming and food-focused real estate development.
  • ULI will bring members together with new audiences of real estate professionals, community farming experts, and others working at the intersection of food and real estate to deepen understanding of how to elevate food as a factor in land use decision-making. This effort will result in the creation of a practical and tactical action plan to support development of “state of the art” real estate projects that accommodate community farms, promote food access, and leverage growing consumer interest in food. ULI will work to increase the number of professionals engaged in a range of activities related to food and real estate.

“We are delighted to receive this generous grant from the Leichtag Foundation,” said ULI Foundation President Kathleen Carey. “It will help greatly in advancing ULI’s work on the connection between food and real estate. We are aiming to show how access to fresh, locally grown food can serve as a key amenity that provides multiple benefits, in terms of quality of life, economic success and environmental sustainability.”

“We see how growing more food locally can create new pathways for food access, food justice and building healthy communities,” said Daron ‘Farmer D’ Joffe, Director of Agricultural Innovation and Development at Leichtag Foundation. “We do this work at Leichtag Commons and Coastal Roots Farm, and we believe this grant will help more communities create these pathways too.”

About the Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has nearly 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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