Pillars of Community Renewal: The Role of Public/Private Partnerships

Pillars of Community Renewal: The Role of Public/Private Partnerships

For cities across the United States, the 2000s have been a period of dramatic restoration, subsequently followed by the spectacular revelation of systemic failures. Urban metabolism from technology jobs and investment has been high, with the extraordinary revitalization of cities that were once hollowed out during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. However, in the current climate of a global pandemic and severe social unrest, it has become clear that our systems have failed large segments of our communities while those considered to be the “movers and shakers” are able to carry on without missing a beat.

For our communities to overcome these challenges, the public, private, and not-for-profit realms need to be engaged. The conventional model of public/private partnerships needs to be refocused from a transaction-oriented effort to a capacity-building model that recognizes the depth of financial strain plaguing the public sector and the subsequent impact this has on its ability to fully serve its constituents. 

Designed by a group of ULI members from the Public/Private Partnership Product Councils, and others who specialize in this arena, this webinar series illuminates how public/private partnerships can respond to systemic failures in housing, social needs, health care, transportation, food systems, education, and employment. The webinars will occur in two phases: 1) weekly from September 8 to October 6, and 2) will resume after the 2020 ULI Fall Meeting on November 3. Each webinar will be one hour long and consist of content delivery and audience Q&A.

In total, this series consists of 13 individual webinars. The detailed schedule of the first five webinar dates and topics is as follows:

  • September 8—Partnering: Public Sector, Private, Philanthropic, Not-for-Profit, and Community Stakeholder Roles: Successful partnerships require identifying community needs and public-sector policy and program initiatives coupled with an understanding of the roles and capacities of the multiple sectors. The session will also introduce the learning objectives for the webinar series.
  • September 15—Emerging Trends in Affordable Housing: Conventional affordable housing structures do not work effectively anymore. New, emerging models achieve preservation of existing affordable housing and avoid displacement along with bringing private capital into affordable housing production.
  • September 22—Capital Formation for Recovery and Renewal: Bringing capital to partnerships is a greater challenge in today’s context of lower land values and reduced public revenues. This session focuses on new means of value capture that enhance co-investment and effectively build a viable capital stack to meet both public and private objectives, including the role of not-for-profit entities in accessing capital for social infrastructure.
  • September 29—The Mixed-Use TOD: Catalyst for Renewal: This session addresses innovative transit-oriented, mixed-use, and mixed-income development projects that catalyze renewal, improve access for underserved populations, and enhance community.
  • October 6—Airports: Over the past generation, airport development has evolved to be more holistic in terms of community building as job, hospitality, tourism, and transportation hubs. But, COVID-19 has dramatically affected the economic vitality of airports, and public/private partnerships will be critical for airport recovery. Creative public and private participation is needed now more than ever to restore the economic engine/job generation of airports.
  • November 3—Infrastructure: This session will explore innovative means of funding and operating public infrastructure including buildings, utilities, roads, flood control, utilities, social infrastructure and internet capacity.
  • November 10—Repurposing Existing Land Uses: Many communities face immense challenges with the obsolescence of existing land uses including dead shopping malls, golf courses, auto plazas, urban sprawl, old industrial sites and old-style office buildings.  This session will explore innovative approaches to conversion and value creation repurposing strategies.
  • November 17—Education and Jobs: Access to education opportunities is currently limited due to historical barriers separating low income and minorities from higher income schools.  This greatly constrains access to quality employment and economic mobility. This session will explore measures to overcome these barriers and create greater opportunities for equal access to education and education that is appropriately linked to employment whether in neighborhoods or in downtown/suburban job centers.
  • December 1—Healthy Food: Access to healthy food has been a noted problem for many years and there have been a variety of efforts to address “Food Deserts,” urban agriculture, healthy diet and exercise, and food pantries/depositories as alternative distribution methods.  Despite this, in the Pandemic access to food emerged as a critical issue with systemic failures.  In this webinar we will seek to understand the state of food distress in inner city communities and explore the roles of both the public and private sectors in ensuring access to healthy, quality food.
  • December 8—Resiliency for Low Income Communities: Low income communities are frequently located in the path of sea level rise and other dynamics of climate change.  The cost of increasing resilience of housing and other uses in these neighborhoods is a challenge that many communities are addressing.  This webinar will explore innovative mechanisms for addressing these challenges.
  • December 15—Building Community Leadership Capacity: This webinar will explore initiatives for building citizen participation in influencing community outcomes.

All content is available for 90 days from first access. For extension inquiries, please email learning@uli.org.

If you are a public sector or nonprofit employee and find the cost to attend prohibitive, please contact us at learning@uli.org to receive a special discount code.

Experience Level

  • Foundational

This certificate is designed for beginning-level participants looking for foundational information and insights.

Career Stage

  •  Beginning Real Estate Professionals

This certificate is designed for those considering a career in real estate, new to real estate, or changing from one industry area to another.

Certificate Format

This certificate is conducted entirely online on your schedule and at your own pace.


  • ULI Members: $260.00
  • Non-Members: $520.00

If you are a public sector or nonprofit employee and find the cost to attend prohibitive, please contact us at learning@uli.org to receive a special discount code.