Joe Biden shares his vision for the future at the Urban Land Institute Spring Meeting. Photo credit: ULI

The Urban Land Institute Spring Meeting brought the sun and thousands of leaders to Seattle, Washington last week. The agenda consisted of tours of some of Seattle’s most exciting real estate projects, cutting-edge sessions, and networking opportunities.

I felt fortunate to have more than 3,000 of ULI’s top members in the nation make the trip to Seattle. Seeing the interest in green building coming from leading developers to investment companies, architects, attorneys, consultants, and planners put a point on how widely understood the value of green building has become.

It was a very hands-on (or feet-on) conference, featuring multiple tours throughout the Seattle area. While I wasn’t able to get away for the kayak tour, I was able to talk to industry leaders about trends in corporate urbanization and the high expectations that the knowledge workforce has of their corporate HQs.

Our work brings Paladino to the intersection of business, design, and environment – and we were joined at that intersection by government agencies, non-profits, architects, developers, and heads of corporations who each want to invest in digitally connected smart cities, sharing best practices in creative placemaking, and succeeding in the fast-growing real estate market. Former Vice President Joe Biden was even on hand to share his thoughts on leadership, foreign affairs, and diplomacy.

And as our Brookings colleagues describe, the geography of innovation is changing: from spread-out and isolated workforces to concentrated and connected communities. Today’s innovative firms and workers seek proximity so that ideas and knowledge can be transferred more quickly and seamlessly.

We can use sustainability, resilience, and wellness concepts to strengthen the connections between workers – tomorrow’s leaders need the infrastructure and collaborative spaces to envision a verdant and productive urban landscape.

It’s not too early to sign up for the ULI Fall Meeting, to be held October 23–26, 2017, in Los Angeles. I hope to see you there.

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