ULI UK: Resilient Cities – A Practical Property Perspective

Approximately 100 ULI members and guests met on 25th September at Grosvenor’s offices to discuss the topic of resilient cities. The scene was set by AECOM’s Global Cities Video (see right) before three industry experts – Christopher Choa, Principal Urban Development at AECOM; Richard Barkham, Director of Group Research at Grosvenor and Mervyn Howard, Fund Management Director at Grosvenor discussed how cities can future-proof themselves.

The panel outlined how resilient cities have many characteristics, but decisive governance is one of the key elements that position a city to develop effectively over time. A resilient city also benefits greatly from a strong identity and being able to incorporate comparative advantages that allow it to specialise and play to its strengths. A city’s resilience can also be defined as the product of its vulnerabilities and its subsequent ability to adapt to those weaknesses.

All cities are predicated on trade and exchange. Through the influences of rapid urbanisation, globalisation, and internet-enabled social networks, global cities are starting to relate more to each other than to their national hinterlands.

Cities now generate vast amounts of information in real time. In the future, resilient cities can be in a position to collect, process, and act on this ubiquitous data, which offers the potential to make the urban environment more liveable, efficient, sustainable, and inclusive for the future.

The panel agreed that measuring a city’s resilience can open up new opportunities for investors. Selective and informed rankings can provide strong indicators of the long-term investment potential of targeted global cities and aid investment decision making.