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Negotiating between Urban Planners, Developers, and Investors

Reflections from Property Webinar Series Session #4

In the fourth session of the Property Webinar Series titled “Mixed-use Urban Development as a Method for Risk Mitigation”, the discussion explored how urban planners can better negotiate with real estate industry actors, to ultimately establish better outcomes for property development in the urban landscape, and to limit some of the negative spatial consequences that we see after project completion. The three experts were invited to this dialogue: Dr. Jochem de Vries (Department Chair & Associate Professor, Urban & Regional Planning, University of Amsterdam), Dr. Herman Kok (Vice President & Head of Research, MARK Capital Management), and Dr. Gert-Joost Peek (Professor, Area Development & Transition Management, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences; Lecturer, Amsterdam School of Real Estate; Owner, SPOTON Consulting). Each speaker provided a different perspective depending on their roles in the urban planning and property development landscape.

Planning, property developers, real estate investors, and other stakeholders consistently encounter risk in the transformation processes of the built environment. This materializes from different perspectives including climate change mitigation and adaptation, investment capital allocation, and social and political fragmentation, to name a few. An increasingly method to deter risk in the city building process by these different stakeholders is to create large scale mixed-use developments, to integrate different types of neighbourhood and urban functions in one place. Current processes and relationships in the urban development realm are not standardized and can therefore limit the implementation of mixed-use development projects or continue to scale them further. With increasing urbanization, shifting demographics and substantial real estate investor interest, urban planning and property development are beginning to further collide with commercial production and investor-driven interested in urban real estate, whether they want to or not.

This session aimed to discuss the varying perspectives on mixed-use urban development, this collision between urban planners, developers, and investors, each related to the planning sector and property development sector in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, with additional experience from European cities, and other parts of the world. So, how can mixed-use property development be defined? How do relationships between different types of property developers, investors, and the public sector support mixed-use development? What are the risks that different actors in the urban transformation process expect when they seek to interact with each other?

As moderator of the session, I wrote a reflective summary on the first webinar, which is published in the Centre for Urban Studies blog series, which can be found here:

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