Is it really that time already? It feels like only yesterday that we were waving goodbye to colleagues, clients and industry friends alike as we lifted off the Nice tarmac after a tiring but enjoyable week of unpicking the hottest trends in real estate. But, just like that, MIPIM is upon us again.

It’s remarkable to think how many messages sent from the airport waiting lounge have turned into fruitful business relationships in the 12 months since MIPIM 2017.

Now, a day into the 2018 edition of “the Davos of the real estate industry”, it is clear that some of the themes from yesteryear persist, while there are new issues on the table, too. This is wholly unsurprising, given the dynamic nature of the real estate industry, globally.

A busy day of events saw the Addleshaw Goddard MIPIM team leading or participating in sessions on everything from the role of devolution in driving inward investment, through to the wider opportunities created through the Northern Powerhouse and Cheshire as a driver of energy innovation, with pitstops to discuss themes like cities on the move, and transport-led regeneration. All of that in and amongst sourcing the best canapés on La Croissette!

And, breathe.

Transport-led regeneration

Clearly, the urban landscape is a key overarching theme for MIPIM this year. Anybody who commutes into work using the UK’s road and rail networks during ‘rush hour’ knows that urban transport problems need to be overcome if we are to unlock the true potential for urban development.

However, transport-led regeneration is not only a great way to improve the daily lives of thousands of city workers, but provides the stimulus for wider regeneration initiatives. The real estate industry is doing lots to ensure our future cities are as impressive as possible. But what use an urban utopia if accessibility and connectivity prevent people from actually taking advantage of what it has to offer?

Transport improvements can transform the cultural and socio-economic status of the urban environments they inhabit, not least through job creation. It is the combination of wider economic and social benefits that makes such a compelling case for investment in transport hubs.

Transport hub improvements also provide a boon for tourism in urban environments through the increased footfall of bringing (extra) people into the city more efficiently. Today’s panel shone light on real-life experiences of this theory in action. The ongoing success of King’s Cross, amongst others, shows that there are myriad opportunities for the public and private sectors to come together to drive meaningful change.

The Leeds Station project is another example, with the city seeking to harness the once-in-a-generation opportunity that HS2 provides for revitalisation. The launch of regional projects leveraging national transport initiatives is central to successful regeneration. This coming together of local authorities, private investors and architects to produce a masterplan for making their shared vision a reality is also an inspiring and relationship-building exercise.

Such collaborative efforts will drive the successful delivery of urban regeneration efforts and transport us to a future city that works for everyone.

This article was originally published on CoStar News.

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Leona Ahmed

Leona Ahmed

Partner, Head of London Office
London, UK

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