Join us at the World Built Environment Forum Summit

John Kraus

Director of External Affairs (RICS)

The built environment is changing - are you ready to harness its potential?

Glass building

12/04/18 - Harnessing the power of data in the Americas

Data is like a crystal ball. “The more data we capture, the more we know it’s important to capture,” said Tripty Arya, CEO of Travtus, in Miami. “It’s all about planning for the future. You can’t plan for the future unless you understand the present.”

The world’s biggest cities are dealing with the side effects of the demographic shift from rural to urban. We look to technology for solutions but they may not offer the solutions we expect. The RICS summit in Miami offered glimpses into what solutions technology can offer.

Construction companies can monitor their worksites and share insights with multiple partners. Property managers can monitor the performance of their buildings from a centralized location. Those in real estate can use big data to better understand market shifts. We’re just starting to see the full potential big data can bring to the cities of the future.

Find out more at the World Built Environment Forum Summit in London and RICS Summit Series Americas 2018.

09/04/19 - Securing funding is an issue

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was a record-breaker; hurricanes brought devastating flooding and fierce winds. With extreme weather like this, resilience is a pressing issue in the United States.

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) found for every dollar spent on hazard mitigation, six dollars was saved in future disaster costs. Beefing up building codes results in four dollars of savings for every dollar invested. Even cheap solutions like concrete roofs buffer a home against high winds but would require a change of culture in a market that prefers wooden roofs.

Houston was hit with the storm of the century. Resiliency efforts are fighting against a common belief that it was a once in a lifetime storm. In Miami, sunny day flooding is common. The beach is shrinking and yet the real estate market is not showing any signs of retreating from oceanfront property.

The former mayor of Miami Beach raised roads and invested widely. He says local officials must take the lead in funding mitigation but gaining support from the public is a challenge.

Find out more at the World Built Environment Forum Summit in London and RICS Summit Series Americas 2018.

04/04/18 - Will clustering lead to “Superstar Cities”?

Urbanist Richard Florida warns of a winner-takes-all-urbanism, as the young, educated, and affluent surge back into cities, after decades of suburban growth. His analysis of superstar cities highlights the challenges of gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. In parallel, smaller cities risk relative decline. What roles can built environment professionals play to support more equitable and more resilient growth? 

Find out more at ‘Clustering to Compete: Nurturing Innovation for Prosperity and Security’ at the World Built Environment Forum Summit.

Panellists include:

27/03/18 - How can we reclaim our cities?

Our city streets are dominated by car parking. If shared autonomous vehicles can reduce traffic, how do we recover parking space for more productive use? One solution is to reclaim space incrementally in ways that are suited to local residents’ priorities, as in this concept video.

The approach offers improved liveability, with consequences for community well-being and property values.

The World Built Environment Forum Summit in London will ask “What kind of civilisation do we want?”

23/03/18 - When is big data smart data?

Every citizen has become a source of new, real-time data through their mobile devices, household appliances, cars and event their shopping habits. This mountain of data is a goldmine for advertisers and marketers.

But it can be a force for meaningful benefits, mapping the most efficient travel routes, delivering public services where they are most needed, and optimising the use of buildings and land. 

Future professionals will have to be skilled in data analytics and understanding the levers that will achieve scalability of pilot project. They will be called upon to interpret change trends for policy makers so that data can lead to better solutions for everyday concerns.

Find out more at the World Built Environment Forum Summit in London this April.

20/03/18 - Future transport and the Holy Trinity

Urban planners see a future in which transport is ideally autonomous, shared and electric. But can this “Holy Trinity” be achieved, and at what cost?  Automated vehicles offer the opportunity to reverse the past mistakes of designing cities for cars, with transport that adapts to the built environment.

If autonomous vehicles simply lead to new dedicated traffic lanes and barriers, we will have failed. Cities will also face lost revenue from traditional vehicles, e.g. from congestion and pollution charges. Boston estimates that autonomous vehicles will result in a loss of $135 million in parking fees. Will the cost be offset by increased land and property value?

Find out more at the World Built Environment Forum Summit in London this April.

16/03/18 - Who says you’re smart?

“Smart cities” suggests high-tech interconnectedness and unimaginable volumes of data. A world of opportunity and security through unprecedented information sharing? Or a world in which our interdependencies make us more vulnerable to cyber threats, and where personal privacy is lost forever? Successful cities will define “smartness” in terms of outcomes rather than technology. Vienna, for example, defines its smart city programme in terms of resource conservation, quality of life, innovation and competitiveness. 

Find out more at ‘Smart, Open Source Cities: Enabling Infrastructure’ at the World Built Environment Forum Summit in London this April.

Panellists include:

15/03/18 - Where will city jobs come from?

Debate rages on whether new urban jobs will mostly come from the sharing economy, the experience economy, the circular economy, the innovation economy, the creative economy, the gig economy or from public services.

Major cities’ diversity and size means they can adopt a broad strategy. Smaller cities may need to make bolder choices to specialise. But how do they decide, and what will it mean for their urban environments?

Find out more at 'Collaborating to compete: Cities as growth engines' at the World Built Environment Forum Summit in London in April.

Panellists include:

13/03/18 - Manhattan could free enough space for another Central Park

Autonomous vehicles will mean far more shared use of transport, and much greater efficiency. No longer will cars need to spend most of their time sitting idly in parking spaces. In New York alone, parking accounts for 24 square miles (62 sq km) of area. Freeing up just 5% of parking spaces would be an area equivalent to Central Park.

Tesla’s co-founder JB Straubel will talk about the possibilities at the World Built Environment Forum Summit in London this April.

07/03/18 - “Power now belongs to the problem solvers”

So said Bruce Katz & Jeremy Novak in their book The New Localism 2018. Cities such as Pittsburgh are catalyzing inclusive growth by inventing and deploying new industries and technologies, Indianapolis is experimenting with city leadership through public and private networks, and Copenhagen is using publicly owned assets to finance large scale redevelopment.

These cities are ditching outmoded hierarchical models of national governance for flexible, networked, multi-stakeholder approaches. The World Built Environment Forum convenes problem solvers from around the globe.

05/03/18 - In the Mix: cities are adapting to new business models

Rotterdam is one of many cities re-evaluating its existing property mix. As industry becomes hi-tech and knowledge-based, manufacturing facilities are becoming better neighbours: cleaner, smaller and quieter. Mixed-use developments are more liveable than ever before. Rotterdam is examining the impacts for its transport infrastructure and even its distribution of schools.

Come and hear more at the World Built Environment Forum Summit session: “Cities in the Changing Ecosystems of Industry and Commerce”.

Panellists include:

  • Rohan Pradhan, Vice President, Deliveroo and Global Head, Deliveroo Editions
  • Karuna Gopal, President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities
  • Chris Choa, Vice President and Global Principal - Cities and Development, AECOM
  • Jalak Jobanputra, Founder and Managing Partner, Future Perfect Ventures

02/03/18 - Back to the start – again and again

Cities occupy 3% of the global land surface and yet they consume 75% of all resources. Some would argue that everything we need has already been made. If so it’s already to be found in cities.

The circular economy offers the prospect of an age of re-manufacturing; one in which my neighbour's waste plastic could one day be my new desk chair, and my old jeans could become her loft insulation.

Join us to discuss these and many more issues about the future of cities at the third Summit of the World Built Environment Forum this April in London.

Update - 01/03/18

Andreas Svenungsson, Senior Vice President, Group Public Affairs & Partnerships, Volvo Group talks about the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the World Built Environment Forum: Summit London.

Andreas will join our panel: Clustering to Compete: Nurturing Innovation for Prosperity and Security. The panel will assess how clusters and specialisation hubs can boost regional economic prosperity. How can urban design, local skills bases, and public policy combine to establish optimal conditions for clusters that are attractive to investors?

Prior to joining Volvo Group, Andreas worked for Google & YouTube as the Head of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs in Northern Europe and as a Senior Advisor at MSLGROUP/JKL. He has an MSc in Political Science from Gothenburg University and holds a number of current board positions.

Also on the panel are:

Update - 21/02/2018

Technology and disruptive business models are shaping our world as never before, with huge and perhaps unpredictable geopolitical and social consequences. Successful cities will respond to these forces through resilience and economic competitiveness.

The built environment professions can play a crucial role in shaping the cities that best serve their inhabitants’ needs.

The World Built Environment Forum aims to align all stakeholders in the sector behind commercially viable actions that address issues of global significance for urban populations. This year, members of the Forum are convening for the first time ever in Europe for Summit London 23-24 April 2018. Previous Summits took place in Washington DC and Shanghai.

Summit London will explore the opportunities and challenges presented by the disruptive impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution under the theme of “Urbanisation, Innovation and Civilisation”.

Tesla’s co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, JB Straubel will open the Summit. He will share his vision of how new technology will transform our cities and economies.  Key influencers from around the globe will lead interactive sessions exploring artificial intelligence, blockchain and automated technology. They will also address macro issues, such as urbanisation, financial stability and investment risk.

All attendees will:

  • Gain strategic perspectives, market insight and knowledge of best practice from respected international practitioners
  • Have opportunities to network with senior figures from globally-leading property, land and infrastructure companies

Individual Summit sessions include:

  • The Networked World: Digital Innovation, Inclusive Infrastructure and Structural Economic Transformation
  • Cities in the Changing Ecosystems of Industry and Commerce
  • Clustering to Compete: Nurturing Innovation for Prosperity and Security
  • Remaining Relevant: Anticipating and Harnessing Disruptive Change
  • The Trillion-Dollar Question: Global Investment Risk Landscape
  • Global Cities: Common Future Agendas
  • Smart, Open Source Cities: Enabling Infrastructure
  • Collaborating to compete: Cities as Growth Engines
  • Our Responsibility to Act: an interactive session pointing to strategic actions 

Additional sessions will cover:

  • Green securitization
  • Alternative approaches to financing public infrastructure
  • Regulation in an artificial intelligence world

Read the next page in this section