CEE & Austria Summit


Tuesday, 7 July 2020


Sustainability: Can PBSA and coliving players pioneer resilient cities?

Climate change tops the real estate agenda. Tomorrow’s conscious customers, technological disruption and ever-stricter legislation push the industry to prioritise the environmental responsibility of urban development . Institutional investors increasingly emphasise climate risk as a rising concern. In February 2020, €465B pension fund ABP announced that it will reduce its carbon footprint by 40% in the next five years and invest heavily in circular business models, exemplifying the scale of anticipated commitment.
The Class of 2020 see this as momentum to conceive, design and construct radically resilient cities. The industry needs to reinvent the definition of value and the methods of valuation. Built environment leaders offer radical approaches, advocating philosophies such as Open Building which facilitate flexibility, save materials and enable variable user-oriented business models. With €25B poised for investment in new blended models, can our industry lead the way in adopting such approaches towards the sustainable future of university-cities?
In Vienna, voted World’s Most Liveable City in 2019, Austria’s goals to be climate neutral a decade ahead of the EU’s target are taken very seriously. The city has spearheaded sustainable mobility campaigns and is host to developments innovating in use of timber. PBSA non-profit OeAD has long championed energy efficient passive house techniques, which have yielded success in reduced operating costs, student satisfaction and wellbeing.
Meanwhile, in Warsaw, Krakow, Prague and Budapest, a deficit of 15,000 student housing beds stand to be built, with 74% of active PBSA investors ready to develop new build-to-rent assets. How can emerging solutions and successful case studies inspire this rising market and position developers and cities as exemplars on the European stage?
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