Creating and implementing sustainable development practices in our local communities will take leadership and commitment. ULI San Francisco aims to promote understanding and foster action by the development community and the public sector to build more sustainable communities.


Our specific objectives include:

  • Support development of sustainable projects;
  • Enhance understanding of how communities can achieve sustainability through strategies and tools that enable sustainable development;
  • Foster regional systems that support sustainable communities; and
  • Identify public policies that support sustainable community development practices.

Tackling Sea Level Rise

Funded by a Resiliency Grant made possible by the Kresge Foundation, ULI San Francisco embarked on a project in 2014 to examine current subregional resilience planning initiatives and resilience-related development entitlement conditions in the Bay Area. You can download the report here.

Building Efficiency Toolkit

The purpose of this Toolkit is to help owners and managers of existing buildings understand where to start, where to look, and which issues to consider when developing the scope and obtaining financing for a green investment, including simple operational efficiencies. The Toolkit focuses on existing buildings because in today’s market, it is relatively straightforward to incorporate and finance green improvements into new buildings for several reasons: First, green features can be more easily integrated into new buildings during the initial design process. Second, green elements are a relatively small portion of overall development costs and can therefore be incorporated into conventional project financing. Third, since all tenants are new to the building, leases can be structured to facilitate the pass-through of green investment costs and associated savings from the owner to the tenants. You can download the Toolkit here.

CEQA Streamlining Process

Led by ULI members Gary Binger and Charlie Long, ULI San Francisco convened a group of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) experts in an exercise to identify ways to avoid over-burdening beneficial infill development. The final paper, Streamlining the California Environmental Quality Act to Implement SB 375, outlines concepts and provides specific language for reform, with the goal of engaging the interest and support of stakeholders advocating measures to produce more sustainable community development.

SPUR Climate Change Adaptation Report

Funded in part by the ULI Foundation, this report by the San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association (SPUR) addresses how we should adapt to the effects of climate change in the Bay Area, including drought, higher temperatures and the rise in sea level. The report lays out more than 30 strategies for local and regional agencies to begin minimizing our region’s vulnerabilities:

Educational Forums

From the latest hot topics in energy efficiency and climate change policy to best practices in sustainable development, ULI San Francisco hosts quarterly educational forums on topics in sustainability. Our past programs have examined the benefits of energy commissioning, successful sustainable master-planned projects, and the new building code requirements under the State’s CALGreen code, just to name a few. Please see our Calendar of Events for upcoming events in sustainability.

Bay Area Elected Officials Leadership Forum

ULI San Francisco and the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Urban and Regional Development host a one-day educational certificate event for local elected officials covering the practice and politics of Bay Area land use and development. Attended by over 50 elected officials, the Forum addresses many of the challenges elected officials face in their communities from infrastructure financing to climate change mitigation.  Our last Leadership Forum was hosted in June 2008.

ULI Center for Sustainability

The ULI Center for Sustainability is dedicated to creating healthy, resilient, and high performance communities around the world. Through the work of its Greenprint and Urban Resilience programs, the Center provides leadership and support to land use professionals to invest in energy performance and portfolio resilience while reducing risks due to a changing climate. For more information contact Serena Miller at