The Kresge Foundation is in the middle of redefining its grant programs, but that doesn’t mean it’s stopped giving out large sums of money. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) was recently awarded $800,000 to develop urban design practices that increase resilience in the face of climate change. Considering that most Kresge grants are in the range of $100,000-$400,000 (see IP’s profile), the ULI grant is considerable change. Grantees interested in where the Kresge Foundation is headed may want to check out this large grant to see where the foundation’s priorities currently are.
The Urban Land Institute is a non-profit focused on promoting best practices in regards to land use policy and real estate. ULI was founded in 1936 and today has nearly 30,000 members worldwide. ULI has district councils in Europe and Asia, yet the majority of its work appears to be within the United States. The organization has a range of interests including the sustainable use of energy resources, promoting responsible densification of urban environments, and understanding how market forces affect land use. The Kresge grant will help ULI expand another interest – resilience in the face of climate change.
The Kresge grant will leverage the ULI community to source expertise on urban resilience and how to build a community that responds well to climate change. Throughout 2014 and 2015, ULI will use their grant to focus on several program activities: (1) ULI will set up advisory panels in six communities to analyze resilience challenges and opportunities, (2) ULI will convene leaders in resilience and sustainability to provide policy recommendations, (3) ULI will engage a visiting fellow in both 2014 and 2015 to work with ULI’s senior resident on resilience topics, (4) Funding will go to three district councils to develop local programming for resilience, and (5) New partnerships will be forged.
Interested organizations might take note of the grants focus on new research, community level participation, and the focus on networking through new partnerships. Although predictions on where Kresge is headed in the future are somewhat difficult to make, it is heartening to see Kresge’s continued commitment to community resilience. Grantees may want to watch Kresge’s current grantmaking as we await the announcement of their new funding priorities.