Header graphic for print
Keeping It Real Estate News and Trends in UK Real Estate, Disputes and Planning Law
Posted in Real Estate

What does it take to be a global city?

Hogan Lovells hosted the Reading Real Estate Foundation Breakfast Forum (RREF) on 22 March. RREF is a registered charity that provides support for real estate and planning education at the University of Reading.

The event featured presentations by:

  • Kathy Pain, Professor of Real Estate & Planning and Director of Research at the Henley Business School and the University of Reading;
  • Andrew Allen, Global Head of property Research at Aberdeen Asset Management; and
  • Dan Nicholson, Managing Director at Tishman Speyer.

The question to be discussed was, what does it take to be a “global city”?

Professor Pain outlined the view that global cities require three key elements: people, finance and supply.  Professor Pain expanded on the people element by discussing global “megatrends”. These indicate that there is a change in the global urban demographic, with more of the population migrating to urban environments.

When describing the finance factors, Professor Pain described how London was seen as a safe haven during the last recession due to the financial benefits of the City.

Andrew Allen also talked about the key factors that make a global city. These include transport links and infrastructure, quality of life, education, transparency and laws, supply constraints and a labour pool. Mr Allen also mentioned the challenges facing global cities including insufficient accommodation for the growing population.

Dan Nicholson focussed on investment strategy in global cities, and how to invest in real estate. Taking London as an example, Mr Nicholson focussed on the areas of London that would benefit from Crossrail. Mr Nicholson also mentioned the growing importance of technology.

Key themes to emerge from all presenters were the importance of infrastructure, quality of life, education, transparency and laws, supply constraints and an educated labour pool.