Karima Palafox honored in the first-ever 40 under 40 by the Urban Land Institute

NEW YORK (Oct 21, 2014) Managing Partner and Senior Urban Planner of Palafox Associates, Karima Palafox has been recognized by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) as one of the Urban Land 40 Under 40. The recognition program honors the world’s top 40 real estate and land use leaders and visionaries under the age of 40. Karima Palafox is the only Southeast Asia honored at the program.

ULI Chairman Lynn Thurber made the announcement during the ULI Fall Meeting at the Javits Center in New York City. More than 500 nominations around the world have been received for this  inaugural class.

In an interview with Urban Land magazine, ULI Chief Executive Office Patrick L. Philips describes the qualities of their honorees. “Through 40 Under 40, we are celebrating young leaders from around the globe who are stars in theindustry,” says Phillips. “These individuals are doers with a fresh approach to community building for the 21st century. We are seeking innovators from the private and public sectors who distinguish themselves by their business acumen, their commitment to development that enhances the quality of life, and their vision for the future. Candidates for 40 Under 40 are entrepreneurs—professionals making advances in the field of real estate and land use that benefit society and create economic opportunities.”
At Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group, Karima heads a multidisciplinary team that creates architectural designs and master plans for communities and developments in numerous countries from India and Malaysia to Saudi Arabia. She has taken the lead in projects in the Philippines; Sharjah and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; Equatorial Guinea; Sudan; and the Solomon Islands. She leads the urban planning team and makes sure she walks the site, including projects that are in high-risk areas. Palafox works on rural and urban areas, believing this is the only way to improve life in metropolitan areas and the countryside. As farmlands, scenic areas, and forests have been encroached on due to dependence on cities and pressure to develop, Palafox’s plans help ensure that open spaces are preserved.

She has been at the forefront of discussions about laws that would affect development in the Philippines and advises the chair of the country’s Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing, and Resettlement on issues in real estate, postdisaster rebuilding, housing policies, and solutions for informal settlements.

Karima earned her Master’s degree in Industrial Economics at the University of Asia and the Pacific and her Master of Science degree in Urban Planning with specialization in Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University.

She became a registered environmental planner in 2008, and is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in the United Kingdom.  Some of the masterplans which she led include: Eco-Tourism Plan for Panglao Island, Metro Ilocos Norte, zoning and land use plan of San Juan City, and the masterplan of the San Vicente Tourism Enterprise Zone in Palawan. Apart from her work at Palafox,

Karmi is an active member of the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners, and served as director in 2011-2012. She is part of the Urban Land Institute’s Advisory Council in the Philippines. She is one of the founding members of the Makati chapter of the International Federation of BPW (Business and Professional Women).

Karima was instrumental in bringing ULI to the Philippines. She also was the youngest participant and only woman on the ULI Advisory Services panel in Sanya, China. Says Palafox, “It is the most exciting time to be a land use professional, given that now, more than ever, people are understanding that we have no choice but to build (and rebuild) our cities responsibly.”

ULI is a nonprofit research and education organization supported by its members. Founded in 1936, it now has more than 33,000 members worldwide, representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service. A multidisciplinary real estate forum, ULI facilitates an open exchange of ideas, information, and experience among industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better places.