23 / 09 / 22 - 4 minute read
As the global economy struggles to recover from the pandemic and the Ukraine war, our future cities stand on the brink of fundamental change. How the industry adapts to current economic pressures and challenges, such as climate change and digitalisatio
“To paraphrase Einstein, we won’t solve the issues from the same level of consciousness that created them,” she says of the climate crisis facing the planet. “More plainly, what got us here won’t get us there. We need to do some things differently.”
In his speech, Dr. Norbert Streitz, Founder and Scientific Director, Smart Future Initiative, will urge us to move beyond ‘smart only cities.’
“We have to redefine the 'Smart-Everything' paradigm, telling us that everything like TVs, cars, cities must be smart, because their implementations follow a mainly technology-driven development. In order to counter this trend, we must adopt a citizen-centred approach when designing our future cities," says Dr. Streitz.
"We redefine the 'smartness' of a city as how much the city knows about itself ('self-awareness') and how this knowledge is communicated to the city administration and to all citizens to make them smarter. By placing humans first, we can build self-aware, hybrid urban environments where humans are in the loop and in control via different design trade-offs. This goal requires to develop a shared vision and a common purpose of all stakeholders for moving beyond ‘smart-only’ cities towards humane, sociable, and cooperative cities."
As a ‘Future of Cities’ panellist, Nikki Greenberg, Founder of Real Estate of the Future, will discuss how we as an industry can develop in alignment with the increasingly digitalised way people live and work.
Greenberg comments: “I am convinced that technology can help us build a better future. I am particularly passionate about the possibilities of emerging technologies in the cities of tomorrow. These can introduce greater efficiencies, and the enhance quality of life for all, whether catering to the needs of Gen Z or easing daily life for the elderly. But to truly take advantage of this great potential, the real estate industry needs to understand the steps it can take today to be prepared for tomorrow’s increasingly tech-enabled future.”
Meanwhile, Jaewon Peter Chun, President of the World Smart Cities Forum, stresses that people and firms should play a more critical role than technology. “The identity of a smart city depends on the citizens and businesses that make up the city. They should be the subject and centre of the process leading to the future of the city that evolves and develops,” says Peter, whose many projects include designing a $4 billion South Korean Smart City national pilot project as a master planner in 2018.
Nikki Greenberg, Founder of Real Estate of the Future, is convinced that technology can help us build a better future.
“New technologies and solutions play a secondary role in resolving the need for a city’s ecosystem to change and revitalise. Therefore, it is undesirable for smart cities to be discussed as techno centric. Unfortunately, many cities made this mistake, and it continued until recently when the world was struggling with the COVID-19 Pandemic. The time has come to redefine the smart city and create a forward-looking model of how each city should work together.”
The last speaker in this panel, Madhi Mokrane, Head of Investment Strategy & Research, PATRIZIA, is confident that the IH event will allow participants to walk away with new ideas and a fresh perspective about tomorrow, including the need to enhance current cities. “Rather than simply creating new smart cities, we need to smarten up existing cities to make them home to liveable communities for today and tomorrow’s generations.”
Prof. Dr. Michael Voigtländer, Senior Economist & Head of Research Unit Financial and Real Estate Markets, Cologne Institute for Economic Research, will explore the topic of ‘Affordability of housing versus affordable housing.’
Dr. Marcus Cieleback, Chief Urban Economist, PATRIZIA, is delighted that IH is bringing together leaders from across the real estate industry to help devise sustainable living solutions and smarten up cities. “We support urban life by closely monitoring affordability. PATRIZIA is committed to supporting the development of a more sustainable world by creating better assets."
In the final panel, four experts from real assets will examine ways to decarbonize the built environment, discussing topics such as the importance of a flexible energy grid with varied green, renewable energy sources. Panellists include Kirsten Henson, founding Director, KLH Sustainability, and Graham Matthews, Head of Infrastructure, PATRIZIA.
Kate Wolfenden, Co-Founder of 103 Ventures, will talk about integrating transition risks in property values (and what we are doing about it), and the importance of cross-sector collaboration to develop innovative financing solutions to support entire cities to transition in time.
“I’m delighted to be able to attend the Investment Horizons summit to discuss these critical issues with others in the industry in the hope of finding solutions going forward,” she says. “We will touch upon the importance of integrating transition risk into the heart of investment decision making and how multi-stakeholder collaboration can drive new financial solutions to cities across Europe.”
“To paraphrase Einstein, we won’t solve the issues from the same level of consciousness that created them. More plainly, what got us here won’t get us there. We need to do some things differently.” Prof. Rosemary Addis
Finally, Furqan Alamgir, CEO and Founder of Connexin, will speak about how his company is on a mission to connect the real world to the digital world to improve our lives. “We do this by building digital programmable infrastructure that helps us to understand better and manage the ecosystems in which we live, work and play. This is becoming more critical as the global population is set to reach 9.9 billion and more people expected to live in cities, placing greater demands on the ageing infrastructure that supports them. On the journey to net zero, our vision defines the destination, digital programmable infrastructure is the road and purpose-led investment the fuel.”