What Will the Headline from ULI’s FutureBuild 2014

Next Tuesday, the Urban Land Institute of Los Angeles will host Future Build 2014, a one-day conference looking at how societal changes and new technology will change the way cities develop and communities grow.

The highlight of the conference will be a keynote address from Mayor Eric Garcetti. Garcetti has used conferences speeches as a way to launch public speeches as an opportunity to announce major initiatives, such as last October when he announced Great Streets at ULI’s “Transit Oriented Los Angeles.” Some wonder whether there is a plan for another major announcement coming next week. In truth, Garcetti’s office seems awfully comfortable with the Urban Land Institute, just last week they co-sponsored a speech by Gabe Klein in City Hall.

But while we await Garcetti’s speech, the rest of the agenda is pretty clear. The speaker’s list includes some Streetsblog favorites including Mia Lehrer and Ron Finley, the “guerrilla gardener.” I have to admit I rolled my eyes at “3-D Printed Housing” and “driverless cars” as topics of discussion, but the rest of the agenda looks more promising.

  • Micro grids for self-energized buildings and communities
  • 3D-printed housing, and micro apartments
  • The 21st century office and the disappearing cubicle
  • “Urban Acupuncture:” urban gardens, parklets, new riverfront uses
  • Healthy buildings and communities
  • Clean and green business incubators in industrial districts


  • Private $130 (Non-members $175)
  • Public/Non-profit/YLG $110 (Non-members $150)
  • Student $90 (Non-members $120)

Registration includes breakfast and lunch. Please note that prices increase after the early registration deadline of January 20. ULI Members who register for the full VerdeXchange 2014 conference will receive a $100 discount off of the full conference admission price.

Registration and information is available at www. la.uli.org/event/futurebuild-2014/ or by contacting ULI Los Angeles at (213) 542-4694.


  • What’s there to roll your eyes about in regard to driverless cars? I realize the talk can get a bit pie-in-the-sky, but I’m pretty confident that they WILL drastically change the way cities develop and grow: far higher road capacity; many fewer injuries, deaths, and (hopefully) parking spaces; and ideally much less expensive taxi-type service and maybe even driverless mass transit. Big stuff. 3D-printed houses though… yeah, ha.

  • Chris Stegall

    Driverless cars really do seem like the answer to a whole lot of issues. Not to mention reducing the numbers of cars on the road as you can now share a car with your roommates/family/etc… and just have it pick-up/drop-off folks as necessary instead of having it tied up parked with someone all day. I can’t wait ’til it’s the norm.

  • sahra

    I have to admit, every time I hear “driverless car” I feel like I am essentially hearing people say, “I want the experience of public transit without the riff raff.” I realize there’s more to it than that, but I that is the first thing that flashes across my brain. I really wish that same level of investment and innovation was being poured into enhancing transit rather than cars, but I don’t get to make those kinds of decisions…

  • Here is a report byTodd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute — much more level-headed than a lot of the hype surrounding the discussion of driverless cars…


  • Kenny Easwaran

    Every time I hear the phrase “driverless car” I think “driverless bus” and imagine the 720 running every 5 minutes 24/7. (They’ve got the vehicles, and fuel is basically free – the only thing holding them back is the expense of drivers.)

  • sahra

    I’d rather see vehicles that didn’t need to run on fossil fuels (especially if you want them running every 5 min., 7 days a week, 24 hours a day) and have them be more pleasant and welcoming (maybe even self-cleaning or something?). and maybe lighter or hovering, jetson-like (where is that future the jetsons promised, anyways??), over roads, so as to cut down on materials, rubber, and wear and tear on asphalt. Because once people have their own driverless cars, my guess is they won’t likely be clamoring to get on a public bus. Again, I say that as someone who admittedly knows very little about the whole driverless thing, but I think the idea that so much is being invested in making the personal automobile a more wonderful, relaxing, and attractive experience is, in some ways, a step backwards.


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