Wednesday, 21 May 2014

What could the future hold for the property industry?



Back in March, the students on the MSc Real Estate were invited to a 'Scenario Day' with Angus McIntosh (Visiting Professor in the Department of Real Estate and Construction) and Nick French (Professor in Real Estate and Director of the MSc RE).

The RICS Property Futures Initiative states:

'We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous and rapidly changing world. On the one hand people around the globe are becoming healthier, wealthier, better educated, more peaceful, increasingly connected and living longer. On the other, the world is more corrupt, congested, warmer, dangerous, divided and unemployed. The pace of change is increasing - as a review of the last two decades demonstrates. All of us have an interest in the world of tomorrow. We want to know where the jobs will be; what skills will be needed; how we will sustain our families and live well.'

The day consisted of a series of presentations and workshops and was a mirror of many of the events held by Angus McIntosh in work that contributed to the RICS Property Futures Initiative. The students benefited from the same workshop that many of the leading partners and directors of the global real estate consultancies undertook between 2008 and 2013. The idea of the day was not to find definitive answers but to think about, and be prepared for, the plethora of different scenarios that may turn out to be our actual future. Working to the adage....

'The future is a given uncertainty. Imagine tomorrow, decide today'

The students had to think through numerous possible outcomes; some positive, some negative. The idea being to have an idea on how real estate and property (and the profession) will need to adapt to each scenario.

On a slightly different note, envisaging how cities and the built environment will operate in the future is a really hot topic at the moment with many UK cities already constructing plans. Take a look at the following links for more information and inspiration:

RICS - scenarios - why a futures project?
UBM Future Cities - the global community for 21st century city decision makers
The Futures Academy - reports and papers
Future Cities Catapult - a global centre of excellence on urban innovation. A place where cities, businesses and universities come together to develop solutions to the future needs of our cities.
The Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities - rethinking the urban to face future challenges
Future City Glasgow - an ambitious programme which will demonstrate how technology can make life in the city smarter, safer and more sustainable.

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