On 7-9 June 2016, Over 23,500 attendees visited Provada, the annual real estate meeting point in Amsterdam. During the event, ULI, RICS, NRW and PropertyEU co-hosted an International Business Lounge and presented a rich programme offering a global perspective to those in attendance.
The programme in the International Business Lounge kicked off with the theme of Smart Cities. Jace Tyrrell from the New West End Company began with a discussion on innovations to support competitiveness in city centres. Tyrrell was followed by ULI Europe CEO Lisette van Doorn, who discussed key success factors for smart cities. According to van Doorn, successful smart cities have strong vision and leadership, engage in valuable partnerships, and prioritise customer service, safety, resource efficiency, responsiveness, and liveability.
Following the Smart Cities sessions, the International Business Lounge partners held a lunch session for the next generation of real estate leaders, including members of ULI Young Leaders, FRESH Students, ICSC Next Generation and RICS Young Leaders. Participants discussed the challenges and the opportunities of bridging the gap between generations, and of the importance and mutual benefit of mentorship programmes.
After an afternoon investment briefing, 140 senior leaders in real estate attended the International Investors dinner at the Hermitage Amsterdam. Elad Eisenstein, Director Urban Design at Mecanoo, gave the keynote address on urban transformation.
The second day began with a ULI Netherlands breakfast, which gathered members and non-members to discuss updates on ULI’s activities in the Netherlands and Europe. This was followed by a morning panel on Innovation and Urban investment with ULI Europe CEO Lisette van Doorn, Dick van Hal of Bouwinvest, Didier Unglück of L’etoille Properties and Merel Poulisse of the City of Rotterdam. Panellists discussed the drivers and opportunities for long term investment in European cities and the key roles of innovation and density in creating successful investment.
During the panel, Van Doorn discussed the interplay between investment, innovation and density. According to van Doorn, cities that develop a clear vision and strategy to achieve “good density” will attract more innovation, which will lead to increased investment and competitiveness. Van Doorn cited affordable housing, a mix of generations, green spaces and connectivity as key components of “good density”.
The afternoon’s keynote presentation was by Chris Choa, Director of Cities and Urban Development at AECOM. Choa discussed success factors for world class cities, emphasising the importance of connectivity, liveability, and cultural interaction for a city’s attractiveness.
Following Choa’s remarks, ULI Netherlands Chair Bob van der Zande introduced a roundtable on the Holland Metropole region. Participants included leading investors and city leaders, who discussed the potential of the region and the steps that need to be taken to make it successful. The group also analysed how urban transformation is driving investment in Rotterdam and the Hague.
The day ended with a question-and-answer session, moderated by PropertyEU’s Richard Betts, on the topic of investment drivers. Panellists were Jaap van der Bijl, Managing director investor relations at Syntrus Achmea; Michael Walton, CEO at Rynda Property Investors; Marcus Cieleback, Head of research at Patrizia Immobilien; and Chris Choa, Director Cities and Urban Development at AECOM.
Throughout all of Provada, the International Business Lounge also served as a meeting point for people to network, share views on the expo and discuss the trends in real estate.