ULI: Study Links Development Success, Racial Equity

Real estate development success and racial equity are increasingly linked, according to the Urban Land Institute, Washington, D.C.

In a report, 10 Principles for Embedding Racial Equity in Real Estate Development, ULI shared guiding ideas to help real estate practitioners across geographies, sectors and backgrounds make business decisions that promote racial equity. It called the report a response to a growing desire within the industry for tools and resources to actively work toward a more equitable future.

AJ Jackson, Executive Vice President of Social Impact Investing with JBG SMITH, Chevy Chase, Md., said the report will help developers deliver more equitable outcomes and improve both social and financial returns. “The principles are an actionable guide designed to help real estate professionals make racial equity central to their business practices and deliver real benefits for individuals, communities and investors,” he said.

The principles include:

– Embed racial equity across all aspects of your real estate development practice.

– Commit to building your knowledge and optimizing your personal and institutional power.

– Articulate the racial equity business case.

– Use data to ensure equitable processes and outcomes.

– Leverage capital to drive equitable change.

– Understand and address current and historical context.

– Recognize the power of language.

– Create a community-centered development process.

– Build trust, transparency, and credibility.

– Form strong, intersectoral partnerships.

ULI Americas President Gwyneth Coté said the report provides best practices for prioritizing racial equity throughout the real estate development lifecycle. “The industry can leverage this framework to enhance value and build healthy, thriving, equitable communities,” she said.

Coté noted change requires a “sustained, long-term commitment to this work.”