Mayors of Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia and Phoenix Among 16 Fellows Named By Daniel Rose Center For Public Leadership In Land Use

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WASHINGTON (October 6, 2009) – The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use has named 16 outstanding community leaders — including the mayors of Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia and Phoenix — to serve in fellowships for the Center through 2010. The purpose of the fellowship program is to provide city leaders with the insights, peer-to-peer learning, and analysis they need to successfully build and sustain their cities.

The new fellows will offer guidance to ULI in the development of products, programs and services that cover a broad spectrum of work incorporating three over-arching themes: real estate finance and development; the interdependencies and respective roles of the public and private sectors; and the role and importance of the public realm in creating viable, thriving communities.

Each of the four mayors is leading a team of three additional fellows, including public- and private-sector representatives, from their respective cities. The teams were selected based on previous displays of land use leadership, diversity of location and market types, and their potential to position their cities on a sustainable path for economic prosperity in years ahead.

“The current national economic crisis brings unprecedented challenges to bear on our cities. This is taking a toll on America’s overall economic stability, because the nation’s economy is largely based on the strength of its metropolitan areas,” said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “The Urban Land Institute looks forward to working with the Daniel Rose Fellows to help them identify and seize unique opportunities to re-make their cities for the 21st century, and to establish a course for success that can be applied to other cities.”

The fellowships will provide a year-long forum to help the four mayors and their teams address the most challenging land use issues facing their communities. Over the upcoming year, each city’s team will work with leading experts in the real estate development, finance, and land use fields with the intention of tackling complex land use issues facing each community.

The 2009-10 ULI Daniel Rose Fellowship teams are as follows:

  • Minneapolis: The Minneapolis team will be led by Mayor R.T. Rybak. He was first elected in 2001 and is currently leading efforts to revitalize north Minneapolis, make Minneapolis a wireless city and reduce his city’s energy consumption in order to combat global warming. His team members are: Barbara Sporlein, Director of Planning, City of Minneapolis; Gary Schiff, City Council Member, City of Minneapolis; and Steve Kotke, Director of Public Works and City Engineer, City of Minneapolis.
  • Nashville: The Nashville team will be led by Mayor Karl Dean. He was first elected in 2007. His priorities include improving schools, revitalizing neighborhoods, and attracting more jobs to the Nashville area. His team members are: Rick Bernhardt, Executive Director, Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Planning Department; Bert Mathews, President, Mathews Development Company; and Alexia Poe, Director, Mayor’s Office of Economic & Community Development.
  • Philadelphia: The Philadelphia team will be led by Mayor Michael Nutter. He was first elected mayor in 2007. Nutter previously served as a City Councilman for nearly 15 years where he led numerous economic and legislative measures to improve the quality of life for people and businesses. His team members are: Alan Greenberger, Interim Deputy Mayor for Commerce and Economic Development & Executive Director of City Planning, City of Philadelphia; Beverly Coleman, Executive Director, Neighborhoods Now; and Michael DiBerardinis, Commissioner of the Department of the Department of Parks and Recreation & Special Advisor to the Mayor, City of Philadelphia.
  • Phoenix: The Phoenix team will be led by Mayor Phil Gordon. He was first elected in 2003. During his time as city councilman and mayor, he has focused heavily on revitalizing downtown Phoenix, investing more than $1 billion into the city’s center, as well as backing a $1.1 billion multi-modal transportation system. His team members are: Wes Gullet, Vice Chairman, Phoenix Planning and Zoning Commission; Mark Winkleman, President, Industrial Development Authority; and Debra Stark, Planning Director, City of Phoenix.

The Daniel Rose Fellowship is the flagship program of the ULI Daniel Rose Center, established in 2008 by the ULI Foundation Governor Daniel Rose. The Center aims to empower leaders in the public sector to envision, build and sustain successful 21st century communities by providing access to information, best practices, peer networks and other resources to foster creative, efficient and sustainable land use practices.

According to Rose, the Center is unique in how it facilitates collaboration among leaders in land use “by bringing competent, honorable and knowledgeable” participants together from the public and private sector. Leaders explore community and development issues, while discussing solutions to regional land use problems. “Each has much to learn from the other. The more knowledgeable and better trained people are on both sides of the table, the more effective they (the working relationships) are. The most successful projects invariably reflect those relationships,” he said.

The 2009-10 Daniel Rose Fellows will serve as the inaugural class, with each fellowship class serving a one-year term. The selection of fellows begins with the nomination of four city mayors. Each mayor then nominates three additional fellows to serve on their city’s fellowship team. The mayors’ team members are chosen from many fields including: city department heads, city managers, deputy mayors, chief executives of quasi-governmental agencies, executive directors of not-for-profit institutions, senior decision-makers at universities or other institutions with significant land use impacts, and leaders of appointed planning commissions.

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