Recap: ULI Europe Young Leaders Summer School 2019

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This year’s annual ULI Europe Young Leaders Summer School was held in Lisbon, taking place over two days (27 – 28 September) and bringing together 39 Young Leaders from 11 different countries. The programme put Portugal’s capital city under the spotlight with four engaging panel discussions exploring its ever-growing popularity as a place for urban investment.  It also included three site visits to developments with distinct visions, all reimagining preexisting spaces, that have been tailored to meet the changing needs of the city.


Friday morning’s opening session was delivered by João Carvalho das Neves (Professor of Corporate Finance and Real Estate Investments, ISEG School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa), who put Lisbon’s housing market into context with an overview of the economic crash and subsequent boom in the last decade.  The Market Evolution: The Lisbon Renaissance presentation gave way to a panel discussion with Cristina Arouca  (Head of Research, CBRE), Maria Cabral de Azevedo (Associate Lawyer, Abreu Advogados) and José Almeida (Head of Lisboa office, Confidencial Imobiliario) who discussed in more detail the effects of this prosperity, alongside possible drawbacks of such sudden growth.

This was followed by a joint session with Leadership Retreat attendees where the focus was on the tech sector and how Lisbon is attracting talent from the industry.  The panel was made up of Miguel Fontes (Executive Director of Startup Lisboa and Project Director of Hub Criativo do Beato),  Machteld Kors (Director of Communications, UNStudio),  Roelof Opperman (Principal, Fifth Wall Ventures),  Simon Schaefe (Founder, Factory Berlin & Lisbon) and moderated by Audrey Klein (Senior Real Estate Executive).

Afternoon site visits were to Hub Criativo do Beato and The Desterro. Currently in the early stages of its development, Hub Creativio is arguably Lisbon’s most important international project. The future start-up campus is set to attract the best of entrepreneurship, innovation and creative industries within a 35.000m2 former military-industrial complex. The Desterro similarly showcased the potential of Lisbon’s disused buildings for redevelopment. Formally a convent, and then a hospital, the 500 year old building is set to become a luxury multifunctional space. Both projects will be renovated to include as many original features as possible, unifying Lisbon’s rich history with new lucrative industries.

Day two kicked off with a panel session on entrepreneurship and small-scale development, where attendees gained an insight from those who had seen the opportunity to invest following the crash and who were now benefiting from the rebirth of the city. Speakers included Michele Frediani (Founder, Executive Chairman, TAN HOLDINGS) and Roman Carel (Founder, Athena Advisers). In contrast, the Lisbon & the Affordability Challenge session which followed analysed the effects of the real-estate boom on house prices for locals and what measures the city council has put in place to keep housing affordable. The panel was moderated by Xavier Jongen (Managing Director, European Residential, Catella & Co-Chair of ULI European Residential Product Council) and panellist’s included Nicolas Bearelle (CEO, Re-Vive), Dr. Marcus Cieleback (Chief Economist, PATRIZIA & Co-Chair of ULI European Residential Product Council) and Ricardo Veludo (Lisbon Affordable Rent Task Force Coordinator; Adviser at the Vice-Mayor Cabinet, Lisbon City Council).

The Summer School wrapped up with a tour of Selina Secret Garden Lisbon, a thoughtfully designed hotel with coworking and recreation spaces.  Attendees enjoyed a presentation delivered by its Commercial Director, Pedro Lucena, who outlined why Lisbon was an obvious choice for the highly successful ‘nomad’ hotel chain and discussed the potential for future expansion in the city.

For a full list of speakers and biographies, click here.

View the event photographs here. 


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