In a little over a week, property developers, real estate investors, architects, designers and building management specialists from all over the world will convene in Singapore for the annual conference of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats (CTBUH). Their theme: humanising high density: people, nature and the human realm.
With buildings being the source of some 40% of global annual GHG emissions, many of those attending will be focussed on the challenge of decarbonisation and how high-density design, development and management must change in order to contribute to - and thrive within - a new low carbon economy.
The impact that urban development has on people - building users, local communities and society as a whole - is often given less attention than its environmental impact, in part perhaps because what positive social impact looks like is perceived as harder to agree upon and harder to measure.
But as well as being critical actors in the global race to net zero, attendees at this conference - being responsible for the urban spaces in which we live, work and connect with others - have a significant and unique ability to contribute to a 'just transition' and to drive positive social impact - helping to regenerate and build resilient communities, support access to services, tackle local challenges and create good quality jobs.
But beyond a desire to do the right thing, why should they? What is the business case for investing in, measuring and communicating about the social value of high-density developments? How does putting the experience and needs of people and local communities at the heart of the design and development process drive better financial returns?
Charles Russell Speechlys is a sponsor of the CTBUH conference and I am excited to be chairing an expert panel discussion on this topic on Wednesday, 18 October. Our experts - from the worlds of development, investment, building management and sustainability tech - will explore the links between social value and profitability, including the role that social value plays in strengthening planning applications, in creating 'sticky' spaces in which more people want to live and work and how prioritising social value can unlock new investment and cheaper capital. It will also tackle issues of data and measurement - how social value can be measured and communicated, to unlock value for people and the real estate sector.
If you are attending the conference in Singapore please join the discussion and share your insights. We look forward to capturing and sharing what we learn after the event.
Being responsible for the spaces in which we live, work, and connect with others falls onto those who design, develop, and manage our urban environment.