ULI Washington’s Second Annual Future Forum: Navigating the Potential of the Region

The economic growth and urban development of the nation’s capital were the focus of ULI Washington’s second annual Future Forum. Held on January 10 at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center, more than 200 ULI members attended the all-day gathering to hear the insights of industry leaders and participants as they addressed the future of the Metropolitan Washington Region.

In a panel moderated by Dr. Tracy Hadden Loh, a fellow with the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking at Brookings Metro, Richard Lake, managing partner of Roadside Development, and Tom Murphy, former mayor of Pittsburgh, addressed the myriad opportunities—and frustrations—facing greater D.C.’s commercial real estate market.

In her introductory remarks, Loh said a network of strong activity centers linked by transit was key to revitalizing urban centers like D.C. “That is physical proximity,” she said, “not just between workers at the same firm—that’s all jobs of any kind, physically located in the same place.”

During the panel discussion, Lake lauded Murphy, who led the revival of Pittsburgh during his decade as mayor (1994-2006). During that time, Murphy leveraged roughly $4.5 billion to transform more than 1,000 acres of blighted industrial space into new commercial, residential, retail, and public uses, among other projects.