Constructing new urban models

MIPIM 2018 addresses the issue of cities in the future, protagonists of economic and social transformations generated by globalisation. Intercepting this evolution, coupled with research into new construction strategies, will be one of the decisive challenges for the real estate sector

The relentless and rapid transformation of urban fabric is one of the directives currently crossing the real estate sector at an international level. Cities are redesigning their own spaces, where major economic, social and cultural evolutions of our time are developing. Indeed “Mapping World Urbanity” will be the key theme of MIPIM 2018 in Cannes from 13th to 16th March. During the event, focus will be on strategies to be adopted for the construction of cities in an increasingly interconnected world, and on the creation of new urban models. The event will also give space to points of view from increasingly insistent new generations, along with a series of initiatives for the growing hotel and tourism sector. Ronan Vaspart, Director of MIPIM, gives us a sneak preview of what the 2018 edition holds in store.

Mr. Vaspart, Mapping World Urbanity is the central theme of MIPIM 2018. What changes, opportunities and challenges will the expansion of urban spaces bring to the real estate sector?
For MIPIM 2018 we came up with the theme of Mapping World Urbanity (urbanity being defined as the quality of character of life in a city or town). This theme carries on from our discussion on the New Deal for Real Estate which was the theme of MIPIM 2017. This rise of connected-urban areas is reconfiguring the map of world urbanity, and in many cases positioning the city as the economic powerhouse rather than the state. By 2030, 91% of growth in global consumption will come from city dwellers and by 2050, 63% of people in emerging countries will live in cities. So there is much to discuss on the best strategies for building cities in this increasingly globalised world. Public and private stakeholders need to explore on a global level the life in cities in the future, the evolving role of local authorities and the creation of new city models. For the real estate professional, the route to maximising returns is to achieve the right balance between a global vision and a local strategy that considers local specificities.

Mipim 2018 – Exhibition area, stand United Grand Paris © S. Champeaux – Image&Co

What will be the other highlights of the fair?
This year we wanted to shake up things by giving the floor to a representative of the younger generation who can provoke property professionals and make them think differently. Twenty-year old Adora Zvitak, a young American writer and lecturer engaged in the cause of young people, will speak at the MIPIM opening conference, challenging property professionals about tomorrow’s cities and urging them to pay attention to the expectations of the younger generation. A child prodigy, she published her first book at the age of eight. In 2010, when she was just ten, she hosted a TED conference “What Adults Can Learn From Kids,” attracting 5 million viewers online. She explained that “the world needs ‘childish’ thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism.” Concerning sustainability and innovation, the key point to remember is that today, it is the absolute norm for developers to construct buildings that are green and sustainable. Beyond smart buildings, it’s now important to consider sustainability from a city perspective and how to go about achieving that. This topic covers a number of subjects including mobility, infrastructure, and energy efficiency. This is why we have decided to dedicate a half day at MIPIM to issue of sustainability. The sessions will focus on low carbon economy and its return on investment, including passive and positive energy buildings, as well as the growing use of innovative and sustainable materials used to construct these buildings.

Mipim 2018 – Conferenza Thinkers&Leaders – Writing new urban rules © V. Desjardins – Image&Co

Is the uncertainty of the international investors on Brexit lower than last year? How is MIPIM attracting their attention?
No, in fact we see year-on-year at MIPIM how valuable it is for investors and real estate professionals to congregate at Cannes once a year with the entire global real estate community to take the pulse of the market and do business. We are expecting at MIPIM this year some 5,300 investors which is an increase compared to last year. One year on, MIPIM will be a good opportunity to continue the Brexit conversation and see how the situation is evolving for the RE industry. The UK delegation at MIPIM remains out in force at MIPIM to campaign for international investment post-Brexit, namely through the return of DIT (Department for International Trade) with a dedicated stand and robust programme.

How many spaces and initiatives will be dedicated to hotel and tourism sector?
The MIPIM conference programme will host a variety of events dedicated to hotel and tourism including three main panel sessions, a matchmaking session and an invitation-only hotel and tourism lunch, to generate as much networking and deal making as possible for attendees. Hotels with an urban view: room for innovation, is a stand-out conference session on March 15th that will highlight those new hotel concepts opening to meet the demands of today’s highly discerning globetrotters. Discussion range across co-living concepts to generator hostels, as well as new luxury hotel offerings, which are taking on a leaner, smarter look.

Mipim 2018, Exhibition area – stand Nakheem © S. d’Halloy – Image&Co

What results can MIPIM 2018 reach?
We expect an increase in the attendance of MIPIM 2018. Predictive figures are as follows: 24,500 participants from 100 countries including 5300 investors.

Mipim 2018, Exhibition Area – stand Istanbul © S. Champeaux – Image&Co