Advisory Services Panels: An in-person deep-dive
This five-day format allows for a sponsor dinner with 7-10 panelists, followed by an in-depth briefing day composed of a tour of the site and meetings with sponsor representatives, a day of hour-long interviews with typically 70 to 100 key community representatives, and two days devoted to formulating recommendations. On the final day on site, the panel makes an oral presentation of its findings to the sponsor, which can opt to hold the presentation publicly. A written report is prepared and published.
Tower Renewal Advisory Services Panel
On Friday, February 28th, ULI Toronto, in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Tower Renewal Partnership, hosted a group of North American experts to deliver a comprehensive and actionable set of recommendations on resolving one of the city’s biggest housing and resilience challenges. The weeklong process that culminated in the February 28th event tapped into the Urban Land Institute’s global Advisory Service Program. In supporting Toronto on its tower renewal journey, seven ULI volunteers from across the US, along with three ULI staff members, travelled to Toronto to take part in four days of site visits and stakeholder interviews to develop their recommendations, which they delivered to a sold-out crowd at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.
The panel consisted of seven experts:
- Jim Heid, Panel Chair, Founder, Urban Green, LLC;
- Bradford Dockser, Chief Executive Office, Co-Founder, Green Generation;
- Billy Grayson, Executive Director, Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, Urban Land Institute;
- Purnima Kapur, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture;
- Bill Lashbrook, Senior Vice President, PNC Real Estate;
- Laura London, Associate Director, Real Estate Development, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing; and
- Elizabeth Propp, Senior Vice President, The Community Preservation Corporation
Jim Heid, the panel chair, began the presentation by noting the significant challenge around renewing the huge number of towers in the city. Making improvements to safety, comfort and sustainability while simultaneously avoiding any increase in rental costs will be no small feat. He also cited Toronto’s untenably low vacancy rate as a major obstacle to economic success within the city and the dangers of allowing the safety concerns around the buildings to simmer for too long. The fire that displaced hundreds of residents at 650 Parliament in August 2018 is, as Heid put it, only “the tip of the iceberg.” Read the full recap.