Speaking at the ULI Spring Meeting in Nashville, bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham said that as far back in America’s history as the Revolutionary War, Americans have been able to change their minds and switch sides on many issues. “America was founded on the idea that we could think our way through problems,” he said.
The civil rights struggle of 50 years ago—Nashville was the first southern city to desegregate public services, setting an example for activists throughout the South—continues today, but now it is more focused on economic equality. That was the main takeaway from a ULI Spring Meeting session during which panelists discussed how much the civil rights struggle has achieved and how much further it has to go.
Proptech, a new generation of innovative software platforms that can do everything from monitoring buildings’ energy and water use in real time to providing tenant workforces with on-site access to medical treatment, promises to be a game-changer in commercial real estate, according to panelists at ULI’s Spring Meeting in Nashville.
Nashville is evolving from “a nice small city to an emerging, medium-sized city,” said speakers at the 2019 ULI Spring Meeting, in part because of the city’s willingness to invest in its downtown through public-private partnerships.
Civic leaders, including public officials and private developers, must be proactive and prepared to take risks if they want to develop their cities for the new economy, ULI Senior Fellow Tom Murphy said at the ULI Spring Meeting in Nashville.
Cities are facing unprecedented changes in a variety of arenas, including cultural, technological, economic, and demographic. At a session titled “Smart Choices in a Changing World,” ULI’s senior fellows debated ways that cities can thrive in a new economy while creating a sustainable workforce for future needs.
While the construction industry is a significant contributor to economic growth in Singapore and the region, it has been plagued by low productivity and insufficient investment in innovation over the years. A panel discussion at a ULI Singapore conference brought together expert speakers from the public and private sectors to touch on some of the new technologies—ranging from prefabricated construction methods to 3-D modeling systems—that are being used by industry players, and what more needs to be done to encourage wider adoption of these solutions.
When the Octopus card was introduced to Hong Kong 22 years ago, it quietly revolutionized transportation in the city. It certainly made the city “smarter” and easier to navigate, both quicker and with a lot less spare change in your pocket. But what steps can a city such as Hong Kong take now to ensure it remains relevant in another two decades’ time?
At a panel discussion during ULI’s Fort Lauderdale Emerges conference in February, Mike Jackson, longtime chief executive officer of AutoNation, was joined by Vinnie Viola, chairman and owner of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and chairman emeritus of Virtu Financial, to discuss Fort Lauderdale’s place among America’s most important business communities. With moderator Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the pair discussed the appeal and consistent challenges facing Fort Lauderdale’s ascension as a major business hub.
Hong Kong has beaten its own record to post the worst affordability ratio in the history of the annual rankings produced by urban demographic analysis website Demographia. It now costs 21 times the median annual income to buy an average-priced Hong Kong home, 40 percent higher than Vancouver and Sydney, which are the next worse off. Panelists discussed the solutions being offered by both the public and private sector at a ULI Hong Kong event in March.
Like other business sectors, innovative technology is having a disruptive impact on building construction, operations, and management, according to speakers at a ULI San Diego/Tijuana event in March, who discussed new technology used to cut time for project due diligence; make cost estimates accurate and construction more precise; improve building operations and efficiency; and enhance tenant engagement, comfort, and satisfaction.