On 11 November, ULI and The New Climate Economy (NCE) held a roundtable meeting with leading real estate and infrastructure investors and fund managers to discuss a new joint programme of engagement around density. The project aims to improve awareness and understanding of the link between compact, connected and accessible urban centres; long-term value for investors; costs per resident; and carbon emissions.
The roundtable began with an introduction to NCE and its core conclusions about building better cities by Jeremy Oppenheim, former Programme Director of NCE. This was followed by introductory remarks by Michael Spies, Chairman of the ULI Charitable Trust and Senior Managing Director at Tishman Speyer, on some of the challenges that need to be explored and questions that need to be answered as part of this project.
Nick Godfrey, Head of Policy and Urban Development for NCE, presented the group’s core cities findings and ULI Europe CEO Lisette van Doorn presented ULI’s work on density and the proposed model for this collaborative project with NCE.
Some key subjects for further discussion included:
- Geographic focus, in terms of continents, cities in different growth cycles, and geographic barriers to densification
- Definitions, perceptions, and best practice examples of density
- Examination of both historical evidence and forthcoming trends when it comes to densification in cities
- Engagement of both public and private sectors in the project
Many of the participants expressed an interest in supporting the initiative, alongside existing contributions from the ULI Charitable Trust, LaSalle Investment Management, and institutional support from ULI and NCE, with the goal of assembling a group of core investors who would form the Steering Group for the project by the end of 2015.