Category Archives: Executive Director

Is Atlanta Affordable?

It’s a question I’m often ask as the executive director of an organization whose mission is to promote the responsible use of land and build walkable thriving communities. National data suggests that yes, Atlanta is affordable relative to peer cities. 72% of homes are affordable to those earning the area median income according to the Housing Opportunity Index. But if Atlanta were so affordable, why do conversations I have about housing always start with “there’s a tear down on my street that is going for $600,000” or “my cousin has … Read More

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From Creative Class To Urban Crisis, Join Us For Lunch With Richard Florida

Originally posted in Saporta Report April 4, 2017 by Sarah Kirsch, Executive Director, ULI Atlanta “Can you name a true thought leader?” Someone asked me recently, contending it is an overused term with few clear examples. My immediate answer: “Richard Florida.” In the world of urban development and city building, his name came to mind first for his track record of shining a light on, if not identifying, trends and major shifts in urban development. Come judge for yourself and get his newest book on April 12th at a lunch … Read More

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Wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season!

ULI Atlanta Members and Friends, As 2016 winds down, we want to take a moment to thank you for your leadership, partnership, and support. It has been a remarkable year working together to move the needle on responsible land use. We know you have been busy – ranging from the very visible cranes of infill development across our city and the resounding public support to expand MARTA and the BeltLine to the quieter work of creative placemaking, project and policy feasibility, and long range planning for our region. We hope … Read More

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Summertime’s a Wrap: Reflecting on Vacation and Land Use

Originally appeared in Saporta Report August 1, 2016 By Sarah Kirsch, Executive Director ULI Atlanta One of the great privileges of travel is that it allows us to return and look at our homes and communities with a fresh set of eyes. I always come back from more walkable places, particularly those with stronger transit networks, with a renewed commitment to walk my kids to school more, use the basket on my bike more, and use the great resource that is MARTA more. I think, if given the chance to … Read More

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It turns out Atlanta has an “X Factor”

Originally appeared in Saporta Report April 11, 2016 by Sarah Kirsch You would never guess Atlanta is a Generation X town based on any discussion about real estate and regional development. As one ULI member recently commented in a meeting, “I am never the popular kid in the room… I am neither newlywed nor mostly dead, I am a member of Generation X.” But did you know that the Atlanta region has an unusually high concentration of Generation X? Young people came to Atlanta in droves in the 1990s and … Read More

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Sports as Catalyst for a Healthier Atlanta

By ULI Atlanta At the start of his speech on December 7, 2014, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach quoted Nelson Mandela, saying, “Sport has the power to change the world.” He used these words as the foundation for his announcement of Agenda 2020, a significant moment of reflection by the IOC and one that will evolve and make the Games more relevant to the greater challenges facing our society. In many ways, Agenda 2020 aligns with the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative. It acknowledges the distinct differences of cities … Read More

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Kevin Cantley Named New Chair of ULI Atlanta

We are pleased to announce Kevin Cantley as our next Chair of the Atlanta District Council – effective July 1, 2015. A ULI member since 1995, Cantley joins a prestigious group of past and present chairs, who volunteer their time to build a strong presence for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and advance our mission. Many of you already know Kevin as immediate past Chair of the Membership Committee and through the leadership he has provided to numerous ULI Atlanta initiatives ranging from UrbanPlan to the Livable Communities Council. As … Read More

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A pedestrian’s view of getting to work in Atlanta

by Sarah Kirsch In one of my favorite books, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch tells his children, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Recently I’ve had the opportunity to walk around with other folks in Atlanta and it’s changed my perspective on a number of topics. It all began this summer when I was offered the opportunity to lead ULI Atlanta and I attended a meeting for ULI … Read More

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Sarah Kirsch to lead Urban Land Institute’s Atlanta district

by Maria Saporta Contributing Writer-Atlanta Business Chronicle   The Atlanta district of the Urban Land Institute has picked a new executive director – Sarah Kirsch– who has been serving in an interim capacity since June. As an Atlanta native, Kirsch is looking forward to the opportunity to help empower the local development community into creating a more sustainable and resilient region. “My hope is that we can become a more active and proactive player in the development of our region,” Kirsch said in an interview. Kirsch has been serving as ULI’s director of … Read More

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Sarah Kirsch Named Executive Director of ULI Atlanta

I am pleased to announce that interim ULI Executive Director Sarah Kirsch will take on the role as a permanent position. Sarah’s extensive background and experience within ULI, in leadership, staff and volunteer capacities, make her the absolute best candidate for the position of Executive Director. In her new position, she will elevate ULI to unprecedented levels in terms of community development and impact, program collaboration, membership, sustainable land use and much more. Atlanta-native Sarah came to ULI after serving as the senior principal of RCLCO’s Atlanta office, where she … Read More

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