Felicia Davis’s 2016 ULI Fall Meeting Blog
ULl’s 2016 Fall Meeting in Dallas, TX served as my first ULI Conference. It was an inspiring and informative experience. I am sincerely appreciative for the scholarship awarded by the Rose Center. Most public agencies, like mine, are resource-constrained and this scholarship affords public servants the opportunity to experience all the ULI Conference has to offer, by removing the financial barrier to participation. Moreover, being associated with the Rose Center provided a ready resource of knowledgeable, accessible staff that introduced me to similarly aligned conference attendees with whom I was able to connect.
From my perspective, a key highlight of the Fall Meeting was participating in the Urban Plan for Public Officials. This workshop framed the broader picture of fundamental decisions and forces that affect the built environment. In government, it sometimes feels like your work is in a silo —separated from some of the important pieces that make or break development deals. However, the Urban Plan for Public Officials allowed me to recognize myself in a new role with perspective from the other side. I believe this experience will inform my approach to development moving forward-reminding me to consider more diverse perspectives as, locally, we embark upon improving the landscape of each of Chicago’s 77 unique communities.
In addition to the workshop, I valued the opportunity to get better acquainted with public sector colleagues from around the country. It was informative to discuss all the good work they are doing in their respective cities. It provided an opportunity to celebrate their successes and learn from their failures. This sort of open dialogue is invaluable.
Attendance at this conference confirmed that we are united by our love of community and the desire to do this important work — not driven by profit but by the sheer desire to make our neighborhoods, communities, and cities better places to live.