Infrastructure Initiative

ULI Chicago is on a mission to change the discussion around infrastructure. After releasing two reports outlining 22 infrastructure projects with catalytic community impact, ULI Chicago has been touring the region, encouraging elected officials and involved citizens to view infrastructure in a broader context, through the Game Changers process.

Infrastructure Initiative

At ULI Chicago, we view infrastructure as the backbone of the built environment.

We navigate traffic signals on local roads, alongside busses, cars, pedestrians and bicyclists; share the highway with fellow commuters and freight trucks; ride CTA trains over bridges and through tunnels; or simply stroll down shade-covered sidewalks. Even on a recreational journey we might pedal down bike lanes or jog alongside Lake Michigan on a Park District trail. Every day we are on the move, and every day we rely on infrastructure.

Our interactions with infrastructure go beyond the corridors, rails and wheels delivering us from Point A to Point B – infrastructure is the underpinning for what exists at each destination: Pipes that carry water; wires conducting electricity; grids to supply energy and miles of dark fiber to deliver technology. Even when infrastructure is ‘out of sight’, hidden behind walls or working beneath our feet, it cannot be ‘out of mind’. We support smart investment to maintain and support the infrastructure to help our communities thrive.

ULI Chicago’s Infrastructure Initiative is a multiyear effort led by ULI Chicago’s Infrastructure Committee. Its goals are to:

• Address the relationship between infrastructure and land use;
• Improve regional infrastructure decision-making; and
• Develop national models of best practices.

To date, projects include the development of the Infrastructure Game Changers Analysis Process, its application to the Lakeshore Industrial Heritage Corridor and Regional Infrastructure in Northeastern Illinois, and investigation of infrastructure finance.

ULI/Curtis Regional Infrastructure Project

ULI Chicago is part of the ULI/Curtis Regional Infrastructure Project. Supported by ULI trustee James J. Curtis, the ULI/Curtis Regional Infrastructure Project is a three-year initiative launched with the goal of better linking infrastructure, land use, and sustainability at the regional level. The Curtis Project emphasizes developing leadership and models of best practices. Selected by a competitive process and led by ULI’s Infrastructure Initiative, participants include the ULI District Councils in Chicago, Seattle, Florida, and Minnesota.

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