Author: Mark Cooper

MARK COOPER is a freelance journalist based in Hong Kong.

Articles by Mark Cooper

  • Asia’s Financiers Are Buying into More Sustainable Building Practices
    Published on June 21, 2019 in Sustainability
    Industry leaders speaking at the recent ULI Asia Pacific Summit said that green financing and new building materials are helping them make their developments more sustainable without hurting their bottom line.
  • Looking Both Forward and Backward at China’s Economic Evolution
    Published on June 21, 2019 in Capital Markets
    Pragmatism and caution have defined China’s 40 years of economic reform, and this steady progress is set to continue, said Shui On Group chairman Vincent Lo speaking at the 2019 ULI Asia Pacific Summit. Lo—who has been investing in China real estate for more than 30 years—said that the nation’s approach can be summed up by the aphorism “cross the river by feeling the stones.”
  • More Flexible Leases, Changes to Common Spaces Driving Future of Workplaces
    Published on June 21, 2019 in Office
    The evolution of the workplace is being driven by changing demands and the power of big data, said speakers representing developers, designers, futurists, and millennials at the 2019 ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Shanghai.
  • Alibaba’s AI Could Help Reduce Car Traffic Dramatically in China’s Cities
    Published on June 17, 2019 in Market Trends
    An ambitious project in Hangzhou—the city where Alibaba is headquartered—is using big data, sensors, and artificial intelligence to reduce congestion. The system is now being implemented in six other cities in Asia.
  • Shanghai’s Regeneration: More Than Glass-and-Steel High-Rises
    Published on June 11, 2019 in Development
    Though the postcard photos of Shanghai’s gleaming Pudong district are familiar, fewer people are aware of the large numbers of heritage properties the city is conserving and regenerating, said panelists at the 2019 ULI Asia Pacific Summit.
  • Southern China’s Greater Bay Area
    Published on June 10, 2019 in Development
    The ambitious development plan promises great rewards, but faces multiple challenges in integrating diverse communities.
  • InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland: A Former Quarry Adapted as a Luxury Hotel
    Published on June 03, 2019 in Planning & Design
    The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel in China’s Songjiang District, near Shanghai, appears modest when approached from ground level because only two storeys project above ground and green roofs help them blend into the surrounding greenery. But when guests step inside, they see the dramatic construction, attached to the rock like a hanging garden.
  • Scoping the Future Risk from Climate Change in China’s Greater Bay Area
    Published on March 25, 2019 in Sustainability
    Investors are starting to look at the risk of climate change differently, said speakers at the inaugural ULI Asia Pacific Leadership Convivium. However, China’s preparedness to invest in infrastructure should help mitigate those risks.
  • China’s Millennial Generation Driving Tech Startups, Viral Travel
    Published on March 25, 2019 in Development
    The ULI Asia Pacific Leadership Convivium, held in Shenzhen in March, heard from a panel of real estate professionals in their 20s and 30s, explaining how the demands of the next generation of consumers and owners are changing real estate.
  • Backing China’s Big Bet on Smart Cities
    Published on March 15, 2019 in Infrastructure
    China’s largest insurer is backing the nation’s ambitious smart city program with investment in technology, panelists said during the ULI Asia Pacific Leadership Convivium, held in Shenzhen, China.
  • Investment Opportunities in China’s 20-Year Plan for the Hong Kong–Greater Bay Area
    Published on March 08, 2019 in Development
    A massive infrastructure program is interconnecting the cities of China’s Greater Bay Area and opening up a wealth of real estate opportunities. Attendees of the ULI Asia Pacific Leadership Convivium, held in Shenzhen in March, heard two presentations on the region, which includes the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, and Zhaoqing as well as the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
  • Shared Office and Housing Options Continue to Grow in China
    Published on January 22, 2019 in Development
    A series of presentations at the ULI China Mainland Winter Meeting, held in Shanghai in December, demonstrated how the growth of the sharing economy, combined with the desire for social connectivity, is affecting the development and management of office, residential, and hotel properties.
  • Hospitality and Coworking Seen as Bright Spots for Investors in Asia
    Published on January 14, 2019 in Market Trends
    Japan’s hospitality sector, coworking across Asia’s cities, and core assets in Australia were picked as positive investment stories for the Asia Pacific region by a wide-ranging panel of experts at the ULI China Mainland Winter Meeting in Shanghai.
  • Big Data’s Integral Role in Smart Cities and the Retail Experience
    Published on January 07, 2019 in Planning & Design
    Data is increasingly influencing decision-making in everything from how cities are structured to the retail experience, said speakers at the ULI China Mainland Winter Meeting. The conference, held in Shanghai in December, featured two presentations that showed how big data and other technologies are driving design for real estate projects large and small.
  • Possibility of Quantitative Easing for China Could Boost Real Estate Sector
    Published on December 17, 2018 in Capital Markets
    Speaking at the 2018 ULI China Mainland Winter Meeting in Shanghai, Steven Zhang, chief economist and head of research at Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities, outlined an optimistic economic outlook for China and other emerging economies. However, he said the economic and political upheaval that characterized 2018 would continue next year.
  • Japan’s Retail, Banking Sectors Reacting to Disruptive Technologies
    Published on December 10, 2018 in Market Trends
    As part of a wide-ranging panel on adapting development to new technologies, held at the ULI Japan Fall Conference in Tokyo in November, industry leaders discussed using e-commerce data to drive development decisions, adapting Japan’s traditional banking sector for the future, and creating a more innovative startup culture.
  • Envisioning a Data-Driven Office Space in Tokyo
    Published on December 03, 2018 in Development
    While new office space paradigms are emerging in response to changes in technology and work styles, there is no consensus about the “best” future for workspace. A panel of real estate investors, occupiers, and corporate real estate experts discussed the future of workspace at the ULI Japan Fall Conference, held in Tokyo in November.
  • Hospitality Market in Japan Increasingly Bifurcated between High- and Low-End Options
    Published on November 26, 2018 in Market Trends
    The hotel industry in Japan is evolving, with new lodging models emerging, some of which incorporate elements of the burgeoning sharing economy. A panel of real estate and hotel experts at the ULI Japan Fall Conference, held in Tokyo in November, discussed the “capsule hotel” and other models in Japan.
  • Building Workplaces to Drive Innovation over Productivity in Shenzhen
    Published on November 21, 2018 in Development
    The workplace of the future needs to provide flexibility and wellness in order to drive innovation, said a design expert giving a keynote at the 2018 ULI Japan Fall Conference in Tokyo.
  • Attracting Tourists to Japan Through a More Varied Nightlife
    Published on August 30, 2018 in Market Trends
    Japan is in the midst of a huge attempt to boost tourism, but there are fears that it does not offer enough nighttime fun for foreign visitors who seek out theater and other activities that often occur after sunset. A panel at the Urban Land Institute’s Japan Spring Conference, held in May at the Tokyo International Forum, discussed ways to build an “attractive night-time economy.”
  • Integrating Culture and Content Is Key to Attracting Shoppers in Japan
    Published on July 30, 2018 in Retail/Entertainment
    At the ULI Japan Spring Conference 2018, panelists discussed how Japan’s malls can reinvigorate themselves with culture and content. Retail in Japan has not suffered as badly as elsewhere from the effects of online shopping, but the industry is concerned that malls need to offer more to retain customers.
  • Development of Hong Kong’s Greater Bay Area Would Relieve Price Pressure
    Published on June 27, 2018 in Market Trends
    Hong Kong’s former chief executive, C.Y. Leung, now a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an important political advisory body, said the development of the broader region could be a significant driver of growth and relieve stress on the core market for new construction.
  • Investment Volumes Rise in China’s Top-Tier Cities
    Published on June 25, 2018 in Market Trends
    Prices are high but opportunities abound in China’s growing real estate market, especially in its first-tier cities, a panel of experts and investors said at the 2018 ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Hong Kong.
  • Investors in Asia Looking to Minimize Risk
    Published on June 18, 2018 in Capital Markets
    We are late in the current cycle, and real estate investors are focusing on the potential risks as much as, if not more than, the rewards on offer, according to investors and investment managers discussing global capital markets at the 2018 ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Hong Kong.
  • Keeping Life Affordable in Asia’s Fast-Growing Cities
    Published on June 12, 2018 in Sustainability
    Growing cities such as Hong Kong are at the epicenter of what Richard Florida has dubbed “the new urban crisis,” with the city’s success sending house prices soaring out of reach of the average resident. The author and urbanist, who is director of cities at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, spoke at the 2018 ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Hong Kong.
  • Smart Cities Must Focus on People, Experts Say
    Published on June 07, 2018 in Market Trends
    If smart cities are to serve their populations, the human element must remain crucial for their designers and developers, attendees at the 2018 ULI Asia Pacific Summit were told. A panel of developers, designers, and planners mulled over the development of the smart city in Asia during the summit, held in Hong Kong.
  • Japan Building on Urban Stadium Development around 2020 Olympics, Rugby World Cup
    Published on May 21, 2018 in Market Trends
    With the Tokyo Olympics and a Rugby World Cup approaching, Japan’s real estate community is considering how major sports events and venues can drive development, looking at best practices and examples both domestic and from around the world.
  • Arriving at the Best Use for Hong Kong’s Waterfront
    Published on May 14, 2018 in Planning & Design
    A prime spot for development is up for bids. Will existing rules yield the mix and vitality befitting such a prominent spot?
  • Fitting Smaller-Scale Developments, Diversity of Product into Japan’s Future
    Published on December 04, 2017 in Development
    While Japanese cities are often known for large-scale development projects, such as Roppongi Hills or Tokyo Midtown, architects and smaller developers are keen to build on a more human scale. At ULI Japan’s fall conference, which took place in Tokyo in November, two discussion panels considered how the Japanese market will develop over the next two decades.
  • Lending Environment, Institutional Interest Benefiting Japan
    Published on November 27, 2017 in Market Trends
    Japan’s investment market is set fair for the future, with “the world’s most favorable borrowing environment” and increasing institutional demand for real estate. A panel of international investors discussed the 20-year outlook at the ULI Japan Fall Conference, which took place in Tokyo in November.
  • ULI Celebrates 20 Years in an Evolving Japan
    Published on November 20, 2017 in Market Trends
    In many ways, ULI’s history in Japan is the history of that nation’s institutional real estate market, setting up shop in 1997, following the first opportunity funds that came to buy nonperforming loans in the 1990s and has grown to the present day, when a new wave of foreign core funds have begun to invest in Asia’s largest real estate market.
  • Retail-Led Mixed Use in an Age of E-Commerce Outside Shanghai
    Published on August 09, 2017 in Market Trends
    The LifeHub@Kunshan complex, just a brief train ride from Shanghai, integrates workforce housing, shopping, entertainment, e-commerce—and local culture.
  • Bringing Coworking Concepts and Other Office Concepts to Japan
    Published on June 27, 2017 in Planning & Design
    Delegates at ULI Japan’s recent Spring Conference, held in Tokyo, heard from a number of landlords operating a number of different models for office occupation about how their operations worked and their thoughts on the future.
  • Incorporating Walkability and Adaptability into Mixed-Use Projects Across Three Continents
    Published on June 26, 2017 in Planning & Design
    To keep pace with changing transportation and working modes, the built environment needs to have adaptability from the ground up. That was the argument made by panelists from the worlds of design, development, and corporate real estate when they discussed themes of resilience, flexibility, and livability of urban space at the ULI Asia Pacific Summit 2017 in Singapore.
  • Robotic Warehouses, Drone Delivery Help Feed China’s Growing Appetite for E-commerce
    Published on June 16, 2017 in Market Trends
    Logistics property developer GLP is taking advantage of new technologies to increase efficiency for its tenants. Chief executive officer Ming Mei told attendees at the ULI Asia Pacific Summit 2017 that his firm is using big data to improve efficiency in its logistics parks in China, analyzing everything from the temperature of cold-storage trucks to site selection for logistics tenants.
  • As China Reshuffles, Could Japan Become a Bigger External Investor?
    Published on June 16, 2017 in Capital Markets
    This year, global investors should be keeping an eye on politics in China, Japan’s outbound investment, and the logistics sector, said a panel of senior industry figures speaking at the recent ULI Asia Pacific Summit 2017.
  • Big Data, Technology Increasingly Drive Decision Making for Investors
    Published on June 12, 2017 in Development
    Big data is becoming an important part of the real estate business, said Goh Kok Huat, COO of GIC Private Limited, formerly known as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, speaking at the ULI 2017 Asia Pacific Summit.
  • Airbnb, Smaller Hotel Operators Helping to Revive Japan’s Hinterlands
    Published on May 30, 2017 in Market Trends
    Japan’s aging population is well documented, but a drain of population from provincial and rural areas to the cities has also occurred. ULI Japan’s Spring Conference, held in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi Hall, included a panel of exerts examining how real estate, technology, and the sharing economy could boost ailing areas through tourism.
  • Embracing Density and Mixed Use in Shanghai
    Published on January 27, 2017 in Development
    Though the pace of China’s growth over recent decades meant innovation in land use often lagged the speed of development as a priority, this is changing due to a need for more sustainable and efficient development. Indeed, the country is undergoing a sea change in the way land is used, and for the better, according to experts speaking at a ULI China Mainland Event.
  • Dr. Cheong Koon Hean Receives ULI J.C. Nichols Prize in Singapore
    Published on January 24, 2017 in Inside ULI
    Dr. Cheong Koon Hean, chief executive of Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB), was presented with the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development at a January 18 ceremony at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.
  • Opportunities in the Year Ahead for China
    Published on December 21, 2016 in Capital Markets
    Though next year could be a tough one for investors in Chinese real estate, the country’s economy is also more entwined with that of the rest of the world than ever before, speakers said at the 2016 ULI China Mainland Winter Meeting in Shanghai.
  • The Growing Need for Senior Housing in China
    Published on December 19, 2016 in Development
    Though still in its infancy, the senior housing market in China has attracted the interest of major domestic institutions and foreign players alike. However, Chinese retirees’ requirements are subtly different from those of U.S. seniors, said delegates at the recent ULI Chinese Mainland Winter Meeting, held in Shanghai.
  • Tackling Affordability in Asia
    Published on August 01, 2016 in Market Trends
    Affordable housing means many different things across the Asia Pacific region, but in every nation, the driving issue in its provision is the cost of land. That should come as no surprise; the Asian population of 4.3 billion represents 57 percent of the world total, according to United Nations data, but Asia has only 30 percent of the world’s land mass.
  • Mapping the Future of a Global, Connected Civilization
    Published on June 27, 2016 in Development
    The development of megacities will characterize the next evolution of urbanization, global strategist and author Parag Khanna told those attending the 2016 ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Shanghai in June.
  • Property Values Increasingly Depend on Transit—and Mayors
    Published on June 27, 2016 in Infrastructure
    Real estate and transportation are increasingly becoming interconnected, Rob Speyer, president and chief executive of Tishman Speyer, told those attending the ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Shanghai this past June.
  • The Scale of Opportunity in China’s New Silk Road Initiative
    Published on June 27, 2016 in Development
    China’s “Belt and Road” development strategy must become a world initiative in order to truly succeed, says Vincent Lo, chairman of Shui On Land.
  • Swire Properties’ Blueprint Coworking Platform Provides a Launching Pad for Hong Kong Tech Startups
    Published on June 21, 2016 in Inside ULI
    Eighteen months after its launch in Hong Kong, Blueprint, Swire Properties’ coworking platform, has launched dozens of technology firms and shed light on the economics of short-term memberships as a new form of leasing.
  • Investors Willing to Fill the Void for Spending on Infrastructure, Energy
    Published on May 17, 2016 in Infrastructure
    Panelists at the recent ULI Japan Conference in Tokyo said that even a mature market such as Japan offers significant opportunities, due to a program of public/private partnerships designed to ease the burden on the state, but a $1 trillion “infrastructure gap” exists worldwide.
  • Boosting Innovation and Density Is the Future for Japan’s Cities
    Published on May 16, 2016 in Market Trends
    Mitigating the population issues facing Japan, and further developing its cities to meet the demands of the future, were discussed by panelists at the recent ULI Japan Spring Conference in Tokyo. Takeshi Natsuno, professor at the Keio University school of media and governance, said Japan's government should cease spending in areas without a certain density of population.
  • Japan Copes with Shifting Demands in Tourism
    Published on May 16, 2016 in Market Trends
    Japan welcomed just under 20 million visitors last year and is targeting 40 million arrivals by 2020, the year Tokyo holds the Summer Olympics. ULI members attending the event at the Tokyo Midtown conference center heard that the Japanese government is having trouble keeping up with the pace of change in the tourism industry. For example, due to licensing requirements, 99 percent of Airbnb apartment owners in Japan are breaking the law.
  • Svelte Density: Needle Towers Puncture the Sky
    Published on March 14, 2016 in Planning & Design
    With small floor plates and soaring heights, new developments in New York City and other global gateways appeal to luxury buyers.
  • How Real Is Inflation Risk for Japan?
    Published on December 21, 2015 in Capital Markets
    The keynote speaker at the ULI Japan Fall Conference, held in Tokyo in November, was Takeshi Fujimaki, a member of Japan’s upper house and a long-term critic of the “Abenomics” strategy of President Shinzo Abe, saying Japan is set for dramatic inflation and unprecedented weakness in the yen.
  • In Asia, a Tremendous Need for Affordable Housing
    Published on December 14, 2015 in Development
    With 120,000 people flocking to cities every day, urban migration highlights the need for adequate shelter. The key challenge for providers of affordable housing in Asian cities is finding developable land and securing the capital to build housing on a massive scale, an international panel of housing experts said at the Habitat for Humanity Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in Hong Kong in September.
  • In Shanghai, a New Model for the Waterfront
    Published on August 31, 2015 in Planning & Design
    Hushan North Bund transforms a former commercial dock into a vibrant mixed-use development.
  • Asia’s Vertical Cities: Will They Translate to Other Continents?
    Published on August 06, 2015 in Planning & Design
    A combination of necessity and desirability has made Asian cities the world leaders in vertical living.
  • Importing More Energy-Efficient Techniques
    Published on June 22, 2015 in Sustainability
    As tougher energy efficiency standards become the norm for new buildings, older buildings will be expected to keep up, said panelists at the ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Tokyo.
  • Unique Narratives Required for Transformative Mixed-Use Developments
    Published on June 22, 2015 in Planning & Design
    For mixed-use development to be truly transformative, it needs a story, panelists said at the ULI Asia Pacific Summit, held June 3 in Tokyo.
  • Tokyo Strives for Olympic Sustainability
    Published on June 08, 2015 in Sustainability
    The 2012 London Olympic Games have gone down as one of the most successful in the history of the event, with much of the applause coming for the second transformation of east London after the athletes, spectators, and media had gone home. With 267 weeks remaining before the Opening Ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, it is critical that steps be taken soon to ensure that the city’s legacy is a similar success, said panelists at the ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Tokyo.
  • Leading the Way on Real Estate’s Key Issues for the Future
    Published on June 08, 2015 in Sustainability
    Leadership, climate change, and technology were the focus of a panel discussion at the 2015 ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Tokyo. These three issues are among the nine core themes agreed on during the meeting of ULI's global trustees and leaders in Paris.
  • China’s Pearl River Delta: Tying 11 Cities into a Megaregion
    Published on September 22, 2014 in Infrastructure
    On China’s southern coast, the integration of the Greater Pearl River Delta links nine cities, plus the special administrative zones of Hong Kong and Macau, to create an urban area of 21,100 square miles (55,000 sq km) and a population of up to 80 million.
  • Live, Work, Play: Getting Mixed-Use Development Right
    Published on May 25, 2012 in Mixed-Use
    “Mixed-use developments mean we stop thinking so much about buildings as buildings but as communities,” said Richard Vogel, senior vice president and general manager of Ivanhoe Cambridge China, at ULI's Asia Pacific Summit. These substantial and often iconic developments are a weighty undertaking, crucial to the regeneration and improvement of cities, particularly in rapidly urbanizing countries such as China and India.
  • The Demographic Divide: Challenges in China’s Senior Housing
    Published on May 24, 2012 in Residential/Multifamily
    In China, senior housing is a relatively new concept, and senior housing projects do not take account of the exact needs of this demographic group, said Sun Xiangshu, chairman of Beijing Victory Star Architectural & Civil Engineering Group, to a group at ULI's Asia Pacific Summit held in Beijing May 16-18. There will be no easy solutions to China's aging population problem, participants said.