Throughout Cornerstone’s almost 30 years in business, we have always placed a high priority on being active members of quality professional organizations. The connection, education and resources that we derive as members of these various organizations provide our clients and colleagues with leading-edge information, strategy and solutions.
We are newer members to The Urban Land Institute, commonly known as ULI. In advance of the upcoming Fall Conference in Chicago, I’m featuring this organization in this month’s newsletter. As defined by ULI, “Urban design is the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities, towns and villages and planning for the provision of municipal services to residents and visitors. Urban planning is a technical and political process concerned with this process.” We are all stakeholders in our communities, neighborhoods, places of work, residence and entertainment. At TCC, we fully believe in the power of planning and design to transform communities on both a macro and micro level. As expressed on ULI’s website:
“We live in a world that is increasingly interconnected and digitalized. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate and land use industry had felt the effects of connectivity and had taken advantage of it, from the increased interest in property technology—or proptech, the innovative use of technology in the real estate industry—to the rise of e-commerce affecting worldwide logistics and manufacturing markets. All this connectivity and digitalization relies on the speed, capacity, and reliability of our world’s internet infrastructure. However, with the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, internet infrastructure was brought to the forefront as a pressing need. The demands of large-scale work from home, school from home, accelerated e-commerce, telehealth, and even family gatherings pushed more of our lives online and exponentially increased demands on internet infrastructure to unprecedented levels and strained capacity in unanticipated ways. This demand also helped shift the real estate industry itself from thinking just in terms of physical space to also considering how to engage within a virtual environment.”
As conversations about the future of working from home and other COVID adaptations continue, one thing has become abundantly clear: the need for increased bandwidth will only continue to accelerate. Moreover, for people to be full participants in a 21st-century society, both economically and socially, they will need modern digital connectivity. Unfortunately, like so many other aspects of society, access to this connectivity and its many benefits are often deeply uneven—both between urban and rural communities and between neighborhoods and zip codes within the same city—thus creating what is known as the digital divide.