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DENVER-Michael Leccese, a long-time author on urban development, issues has been named the first head of the Colorado Urban Land Institute chapter. Leccese begins his new job on July 1.

“We have gone from zero to 800 members in the past eight years,” Leccese says. “Now, with help from a full-time staff, we have a better opportunity to help encourage responsible development and preservation of great open spaces. With the coming of FasTracks, we can really do it right.”

Under new professional guidance, ULI Colorado plans to expand its programs and seminars within communities. For example, ULI has created a high school curriculum called “Urban Plan” which helps get adolescents involved in shaping the future of the community. “We hope to launch this program in Colorado to bring excitement about revitalizing communities to a new generation,” Leccese says. “ULI Colorado also has a growing voice in the future of land use discussion that is critical to protecting our natural resources, our landscapes, and our economy.”

ULI Colorado is also sponsoring a new monthly program called “Meet the Mayor,” which brings local elected officials and participants together for informal candid conversations. ULI Colorado’s “Young Leaders Group,” which provides networking for ULI members under the age of 35, has doubled its membership since last year. And next year, ULI Colorado will host ULI’s international fall conference. The annual meeting is expected to draw 6,000 visitors to Denver to discuss development and planning.

Leccese is a former editor of Landscape Architecture magazine and Historic Preservation News. He has written articles for numerous planning and environmental publications as well as books, master plans and reports. In addition, he co-authored design guidelines for the US Forest Service. In 1995, he founded Fountainhead Communications LLC to provide public relations and marketing services for architects and developers. He will continue as a principal in the company.

ULI Colorado also named Kacey Wilkins as district council coordinator. Wilkins previously held the same position for ULI’s Houston District Council. The new ULI Colorado headquarters is opening in the historic Equitable Building in downtown Denver. Long-time urban developer Charlie Woolley of the St. Charles Town Co. developed the building, which is being converted into office condominiums.

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