Recap: ULI Europe Young Leaders Summer School 2017

Young professionals from across Europe gathered in Milan for the ULI Europe Summer School on 8-9 September 2017. Organised by the ULI Italy Young Leaders Group, the event was built around the themes of urban regeneration, housing affordability, and placemaking.

The Summer School kicked off at the CityLife Project, a former trade fair site being developed into a 36.6-hectare residential, commercial, and business district. The development is being carried out by a company controlled by the Generali Group, which won the international tender for the redevelopment, and is designed by renowned architects Zaha Hadid, Arata Isozaki, and Daniel Libeskind.

The day began with presentations and panel discussions focusing on the use of technology and virtual reality in real estate.  Attendees had the chance to try out some of the newest technologies shaping the industry.

Later in the afternoon, the group was given a site tour of the CityLife project by Marco Beccati, the project’s director.  Participants were shown the Hadid Tower construction site (a new building that gives a unique point of view on the city of Milan and will be used in 2018 as Generali HQ), the Libeskind residential project, and the shopping district (a new retail project that will open in November 2017).  The day ended with a dinner at a penthouse apartment in the heart of the CityLife project, a chance for attendees to build and strengthen their personal and professional relationships.

The second day of the event was held at the headquarters of UniCredit, where Davide Rimonta, UniCredit’s Head of Real Estate Transformation Projects, explained new ways of working and how the financial services industry is changing users’ perspectives (e.g. smart working).

The topic of strategic urban development was addressed by international experts Sabine Lebesque (City of Amsterdam Department of Land and Development) and Ian Mulcahey (Managing Director, Gensler) and Carlo Castelli (Director, AECOM). The panellists discussed concrete, technical examples from Amsterdam and London.

The programme also addressed financial topics and offered a deep analysis of competitive yields across Europe.  This session was led by real estate finance experts Thomas Leinberger (Director Asset Management, AEW) and Vanessa Muscarà (Associate Director, Propery Research, M&G Real Estate).

After a quick lunch at a typical Italian tavern, the Summer School ended with a site visit of a high-density tower block that experiments with the integration of a lush landscape within the building’s facade, called the Bosco Verticale. The building is based on the concept of regenerating the lost forests on the ground within the inhabitable space of buildings. The building’s two towers are 80 meters and 112 meters tall. Together, they will have the capacity to hold 480 big and medium sized trees, 250 small trees, 11,000 groundcover plants and 5,000 shrubs – the equivalent of a hectare of forest.

Many thanks to Nicholas Garattini of ULI Italy, the speakers, and the ULI Europe team for making this event a huge success.

This post was written by Davide Appiano, Risk Analyst at Generali Real Estate.