In an effort to strengthen land use decision making among local government leaders and to foster regional solutions to land use challenges, ULI Washington has launched the Regional Fellows program, modeled after the Daniel Rose Fellowship, a program of the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use, which is jointly operated by ULI and the National League of Cities.
ULI Washington has selected three jurisdictions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region to participate in the pilot year of the program—Montgomery County, Maryland; Fairfax County, Virginia; and the city of Alexandria, Virginia. Four fellows and a program coordinator from each jurisdiction will participate in the yearlong program, which kicked off with an all-day meeting February 2nd at ULI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Each fellowship team is composed of an honorary fellow—an elected or appointed chief executive who will serve as the symbolic head of each team; three senior leaders in planning, economic development, or transportation, who will be actively engaged in the program; and a program coordinator—a midlevel career official who will support the fellows and manage their work.
The Regional Fellows program is the brainchild of several ULI Washington members, including Anthony Chang, vice president, asset management, at Washington Real Estate Investment Trust; Evan Goldman, vice president for land acquisition and development at EYA; and John Coe, principal of Coe Enterprises, all of whom participated in a local council focused on regionalism. They worked closely with Lisa Rother, ULI Washington executive director, and Deborah Kerson Bilek, ULI Washington senior director of community outreach, as well as Jess Zimbabwe, executive director of the Rose Center, and Gideon Berger, Rose Center program director, to bring the program to fruition.
With a population of 6 million people, metro Washington is uniquely suited to benefit from such a program. The region is composed of 22 individual jurisdictions in two states and the District of Columbia. Although each jurisdiction has its own political leadership, policies, and market realities, the boundaries between them are fluid, with people, goods, and services crisscrossing them daily. Montgomery County and Fairfax County each have a population of more than 1 million, and the challenges each faces—ranging from housing, traffic, and mobility to competitiveness/job growth and natural resource management—are multilayered and complex.
The Regional Fellows program is intended to create an open atmosphere of learning, trust, and honest exchange as each team receives guidance on a specific land use challenge and gets the opportunity to offer feedback and advice to peers and build relationships that continue long after the fellowship period concludes later this year.
ULI Washington members and staff are eager to see the pilot year for the ULI Washington Regional Fellows program yield tangible outcomes for each fellowship team so that other jurisdictions in metro Washington will understand the value of participating in the program. With more than 2,200 members, ULI Washington already enjoys a reputation as an impartial convener of public and private sector expertise and a platform for sharing of best practices. One aim of the Regional Fellows program is to elevate the public sector’s understanding of the benefits of engaging with ULI.
To learn more about the ULI Washington Regional Fellows program, please visit: http://washington.uli.org/what-we-do/regional-fellows-program/
Questions about the Regional Fellows Program may be directed to Deborah Bilek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is modified from a ULI Connect article, “Inspired by the Rose Center, ULI Washington Launches Regional Fellows Program”, authored by Archana Pyati available here.