THE MALL – PORTA NUOVA
Piazza Lina Bo
Bardi, 1, 20121
Milano MI, Italy
Bus Tour & Welcome Reception venue
Fabrica del Vapore
Via G.C. Procaccini 4
From Post-Industrial City to the New Urban Campus
The Class Conference is the biggest Conference on student living in Europe. Over two days, the student housing industry, city leadership and the higher education community come together to pick up on the latest student living developments and trends, exchange ideas, and cultivate their networks. Together we shape the future of living, working and learning in Europe.
The past decade can be considered nothing less than a miraculous one in human innovation. More ideas and products have been realised than any decade before, with greater flows of people, goods, and services between cities, countries and continents. In this new, global world-order, life goals and work preferences are changing too. Younger generations are steering clear of the isolated office parks of the second half of the 20th century as they seek more integrated, compact communities offering many different lifestyle opportunities and spatial uses. Not only is this seen as more desirable than the hospital-like sterility of suburbia, it is better for business in the ‘idea’-based economies of the 21st century. However, as more people pour into cities to consume and contribute to the innovative atmosphere of dense, human capital rich centres, they also run into the physical roadblocks of the cityscapes, structures, and infrastructures not yet adapted to their new needs.
But where challenges exist, opportunities arise.
A key challenge in many cities comes in the form of abandoned, former industrial areas. However, as the industrial world of the last century crumbles away, it has left in its wake not only the challenges of relatively vacant, post-industrial spaces, but also ‘concrete playgrounds’ for the creative, entrepreneurial spirits of their respective cities. These brownfield sites are ripe opportunities for transformation, perfect for cultivation into idea breeding grounds by the municipalities they lie within. Likewise, for local knowledge centres like universities, there is a strong desire to reposition within a post-industrial world, to leverage the changes around us, including reimagining and redefining former industrial landscapes to act as urban campuses where their students can experiment and learn to contribute to new societal wants and needs of our new, global world-order.
- Universities are the spark to creating local and regional innovation ecosystems says Julie Wagner. The re-make of the urban campus at the heart of the city is the ultimate mash-up of living, working and learning – in new hybrid typologies.
- Education is a key anchor for large scale complex urban area developments, according to Vincent Rouget. For PBSA the easy times are over, so value creation through product development and a strong focus on operations is key.
- Alternatives underpinned by a long-term structural trend are increasingly attractive. The Conference reports a pipeline in Europe now accounting for 350 projects & 105,000 beds, with a focus on Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna.
- Students bring a lot to cities like London, Rotterdam and Milan. The Urban Campus panel discussed how to develop these petri-dishes for innovation and why the European Investment Bank believes in funding university development.
- Milan could double its international student population. The Milano Urban Campus Advisory Project, presented to Deputy Mayor Maran, outlined a unique opportunity to bring 300 million euros worth of economic impact and 4,500 new jobs to Milan. This requires a rapid increase of both the number of English-taught programmes and the provision/quality of housing for international students.
- Student wellbeing was all over The Class Conference 2018 and we are happy to report that the stigma around mental health is shifting. We must continue to talk openly about this, as it is okay to not be okay!
- Students lead the way when it comes to housing preferences! We are thankful to all students that joined our Campfire Chat. Building community is imperative.
- The inspiring co-revolution panel highlighted how quickly co-living and co-working typologies are blending. The blurred lines around PBSA result in new conceptions of space and place.
- The Global Outlook panel discussion underlined the potential of PBSA investments across global markets. Mobility trends are now quickly shaping demand in markets like Mexico, India, South Africa, Colombia.
- With 650 attendees coming from 27+ countries, strong presence of the higher education industry and the many students involved, the 2018 European Class Conference was bigger and better than ever before. Thanks for shaping the future of living, working and learning together!