WASHINGTON, DC-The Urban Land Institute has selected Todd W. Mansfield, chairman and CEO of Charlotte, NC-based Crosland LLC, to serve the next two-year term as ULI chairman. Mansfield’s tenure will expire on July 1, 2009.

As chairman, Mansfield says he wants to focus on, among other issues, economic, social and environmental sustainability of urban regions–and, just as importantly, their outlying areas.

“I want to continue our focus on identifying best practices and on promoting better growth patterns throughout our urban regions,” he says in a statement. “This is not about downtown versus the exurbs. It’s about pursuing more effective land use models and achieving better connectivity within these areas so entire regions can function more efficiently.”

To address this goal, he believes ULI’s resources will be best deployed in three areas: 1) environmentally conscious investment and development; 2) connecting infrastructure and land use planning; and 3) workforce housing.

Focusing on outer-ring areas of urban development is part of this strategy. “As our cities have grown outward, our employment centers have become more dispersed,” he says. “These outer areas tend to have very little access to transit, leaving people with no choice but to constantly drive between suburbs for work and errands.”

Unfortunately, housing can be located too far away from retail and commercial uses, he continues. “This is not conducive to fostering a strong sense of community, nor is it sustainable, in terms of preserving quality of life, energy or land. I want to strengthen ULI’s role in the efficient development of entire urban regions.”

Mansfield takes a wider view of other issues as well. Green building, for instance, he says, “means far more than just energy-efficient buildings…It means determining more sustainable land use patterns, renovating existing structures and building in a way that reduces carbon dioxide emissions. The land use industry has much at stake as public policy addresses climate change, quality of life, and public investment issues.”

He also would like to see the incorporation of new infrastructure investment and development vehicles in urban planning, pointing to a recent report from ULI and Ernst & Young that showed the United States lagging far behind Asia and Europe in airports, public transit, railway systems, roads and bridges.

“Revamping our infrastructure calls for long-term solutions that include rethinking land planning models,” he says. “This is where ULI’s role in this issue really crystallizes. We can promote models that are less auto-dependent and offer plenty of options for getting from on place to another,” Mansfield says.

Mansfield, 49, was most recently chair of ULI’s policy and practice committee. He has collaborated with the Nature Conservancy for 15 years, and is completing his second term as chair of the North Carolina chapter of that organization.

His industry bona fides also include the establishment of four new regional offices and growth into five new states at Crosland, which has doubled in fair market value under his leadership.

From 1997 to 1999, he was managing director of Security Capital Group in London, where he launched and operated a private equity investment fund that acquired seven real estate operating companies in the parking, self-storage, office and residential sectors in Europe and Australia.

Prior to that, for 11 years Mansfield was executive vice president of the Walt Disney Company, responsible for resort development and global corporate real estate activities, including more than $3 billion in commercial and residential development. Other industry positions he has held include a stint as a project manager with Hines and as a consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton in New York City.

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