More than 500 real estate leaders from Asia and beyond have gathered in Shanghai this week to discuss the future of property development in the region at the Urban Land Institute APAC Summit.
The keynote session of the three-day industry event this morning featured presentations by corporate leaders such as Shui On Land chairman, Vincent Lo and Tishman Speyer chief, Rob Speyer, as well talks by author Parag Khanna and government officials from Shanghai and Singapore.
The day’s events kicked off with welcoming remarks by Chongbang Group chief executive Henry Cheng, who led preparations for the summit, as well as from ULI Asia CEO John Fitzgerald.
The first address was given by Khanna, the author of a series of books on the impact of connectivity networks on urban development, who stressed the ways in which these networks are challenging the relevance of traditional political boundaries.
Khanna’s address was followed by a talk by Shui On’s Lo, who emphasised the potential of China’s One Belt One Road regional initiative. Lo, who became famous for developing the Xintiandi entertainment and commercial district in Shanghai, is now the chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, and is using that position to help push for cooperation with the Beijing-led economic development program.
Shui On and Speyer Stress Importance of Government
Lo explained how the development council is working with major banks such as HSBC to develop standard loan documents for projects being developed under the initiative, in addition to creating a website covering new developments relevant to the program.
In his turn on stage, Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer, showed how cities globally are learning from each other, including examples of how Shanghai’s transportation system has inspired improvements in public transport in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro. Speyer’s development company has a number of projects in China, including the soon to be launched Crystal Plaza development in Shanghai’s Qiantan area.
The individual speeches were followed by a panel discussion on sustainable urban development featuring Singapore Housing and Development Board head, Dr Cheong Koon Hean; London-based Covent Garden developer, Ian Hawksworth; China Vanke Chief Planner, Fu Zhiqiang; and Shui On Land director of development planning and design, Albert Chan.
The event continues tomorrow with tours of projects by the Lujiazui Group and Tishman Speyer in Pudong’s Qiantan area, as well as of Houston-based Hines One Museum Place office project in Jing An district. Later today, there will be group discussions around the impact of ecommerce on the retail sector, as well as on trends in Asian capital flows and investment.