It’s an honour to be President for our 150th year

John Hughes FRICS

President 2017/18 (RICS)

I’m honoured to take on the RICS Presidency as we prepare to celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2018.

John Hughes

As a Canadian, it’s especially fitting that I become the first President from Canada in the same year that our country holds its 150th celebrations.

RICS' anniversary offers an opportunity to recognise how far we’ve come as an organisation, while also ensuring the profession is fit to meet future challenges. With the latter in mind, I’ll be focusing on three themes during my Presidential term.

1. Cities

In 2007, the share of the world’s population living in urban areas overtook the rural-based population. This trend continues, with the number increasing by an estimated two-thirds by 2050.

Between now and 2030, there will be over 200 more cities with populations greater than 1 million. Most of these will be in Africa and Asia.

With cities accounting for some 70% of global GDP, how well we deal with growth and management issues will affect their sustainability and economic health. Imaginative planning and good infrastructure are the key ingredients for success.

Moscow City

2. Infrastructure

Infrastructure is vital to the successful growth of sustainable cities.

We must develop more commercially innovative approaches to delivering affordable projects on time. To meet this challenge the shortage of skills and capacity must be addressed together with the rights of land owners, and others who are affected by projects.

Our public interest perspective and international standards can increase transparency, helping to balance the needs of different groups.

Infrastructure Photography Competition - Double Travel - Rita Testa

3. Technology

Technology is affecting the management of our cities around the world. And it will continue to do so into the future.

Just as the arrival of the railway in the 19th century transported the Industrial Revolution worldwide, so emerging technology is transforming cities in the present day.

Examples such as self-driving cars, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain have the potential to shift how citizens interact with their environment, the use of real estate, and how it’s sold and managed.

We must all adapt, or risk losing our relevance in this world of fast-paced change.


Diversity pledge

Diversity and inclusion will be a golden thread that runs through these themes.

We need to go beyond our usual recruitment hunting grounds to ensure we have a profession that is relevant and fit for the future in a rapidly-changing environment. Our champions of change need to become ever more visible. One area in particular is conferences and events.

All too often, the panels that are created do not reflect the richness of the experiences from our industry and profession. They do not help promote the role models of the future that the industry desperately needs.
For this reason, I pledge that I will take account of the composition of panels I choose to join, and that I will particularly question any panel I am invited onto that is male-only or lacks diversity.

One final thought - RICS at 150

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of RICS. To celebrate this milestone, we're launching our Pride in the Profession initiative to showcase the significant and positive impact surveyors have made to society; we've already dug into the archives to find some exceptional examples.

By promoting these incredible people and projects we want to demonstrate how varied and rewarding a surveying career can be.

To make it happen, we need you to nominate the people and projects you admire most.

Nominate now

Comments (1)

  1. Congratulations to John Hughes - and best wishes in promoting you three themes. I look forward to contributing to the 'Pride in the Profession' project.

    John Townsend John Townsend, 13 November at 11:23AM

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