World Class Infrastructure Work Receives ULI Grant

November 28, 2012

Economy League 


(Philadelphia - November 28, 2012)  At its recent global conference, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) awarded ULI Philadelphia and the Economy League $25,000 in support of a Global Positioning Strategy, or GPS, for World Class Infrastructure in Greater Philadelphia. This regional Infrastructure GPS will be developed using the input of the World Class Infrastructure Strategy Team, a core group of business executives, civic leaders, and issue experts, meeting over the next four months to identify promising short- and long-term approaches to enhance Greater Philadelphia's global and national connections, improve regional mobility, develop signature destinations, and make our energy and water systems more sustainable.

This grant is one of fifteen totaling $250,000 awarded to ULI District Councils in the U.S. and other Councils throughout the world through its Urban Innovation Fund program. These projects recognize or launch innovative public-private partnerships that will advance the responsible use of land in building healthy, thriving communities worldwide over the next 75 years. In selecting the winners, the jury sought projects that reflected innovative, new ideas; measurable outcomes; a prominent role for ULI in the project; models that could be applied to other places; and projects that focused on ULI's three core areas: sustainability, infrastructure, and workforce/affordable housing.


"The importance of making infrastructure a priority issue in this region has been clearly demonstrated with this $25,000 grant from the Urban Land Institute's Urban Innovation Fund," said David M. Ricci, ULI Philadelphia Chair. "Work already is well underway through an exciting partnership between Economy League and ULI Philadelphia. All of us at the local, regional, and national levels of ULI are looking forward to playing a prominent role in this important endeavor."


In addition, ULI Philadelphia will use a portion of the grant to help fund a ULI Technical Assistance Panel that will analyze the impact of transportation investment on the real estate value of a specific site to be identified by ULI and other regional leaders during the development of the Infrastructure GPS.


The Infrastructure GPS is one of three regional strategy frameworks being developed by business and civic leaders through the World Class initiative. In addition to the ULI Philadelphia partnership, the Economy League and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey are working with regional leaders to develop a GPS for World Class education and talent development in Greater Philadelphia, and the Economy League and CEO Council for Growth are driving a team focused on regional business growth.


Since World Class launched in 2009, the Economy League conducted benchmarking research and directly engaged more than 1,000 regional leaders in conversations about Greater Philadelphia's future. This process, including the use of scenario planning to consider possible alternative futures for the region, led to the identification of education and talent development, business growth, and infrastructure as the three priority areas now being explored in depth by Strategy Teams of regional stakeholders. Ultimately, World Class Greater Philadelphia aims to develop and advance a shared agenda for regional growth and opportunity in the Philadelphia area.


"World Class Greater Philadelphia is about collaborating on a few priorities and developing actionable plans with measurable outcomes," said Steven T. Wray, the Economy League's Executive Director.  "We can focus all of the region's considerable leadership and talent to making Greater Philadelphia the best place that it can be -- for ourselves and for generations to come."


The Infrastructure Strategy Team is chaired by Anthony Bartolomeo, PE, President and CEO of Pennoni Associates; Antonio Fiol-Silva, AICP, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal with Wallace Roberts & Todd; and William C. Rhodes, Partner with Ballard Spahr. World Class Greater Philadelphia's co-chairs are Gerard H. Sweeney of Brandywine Realty Trust, Dr. Steven M. Altschuler of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Wendell E. Pritchett of Rutgers University-Camden, and Jane G. Pepper. For more information, visit


About ULI - the Urban Land Institute


ULI - the Urban Land Institute is the world's oldest, largest and most prestigious nonprofit land use organization with 30,000 members worldwide, with a mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI Philadelphia, which includes the eastern half of Pennsylvania, the southern half of New Jersey and all of Delaware, has more than 800 members from across the private and public sectors who connect, educate, and impact land use. More at


About the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia


The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to ensuring the region's prosperity through analysis and action. We bring together established and emerging leaders to understand the region's challenges and work toward innovative solutions.