In the week marking the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster, leading figures from developers, non-profits and architecture firms sat down at LREF with EG to discuss the lessons learned from the tragedy as well as broader approaches to community engagement.

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After facing off over the role of politics in planning at last year's EG Question Time Bristol City council's cabinet member for spatial planning and city design Nicola Beech and developer Generator South West's managing director Paul Isaacs claim to have developed a better working relationship.

Hear them discuss how they resolved their differences, as well as Bristol's pilot scheme to get more affordable housing built in the city and if tall buildings will alter the city's skyline.

 

Disclaimer: Please note that the podcast was filmed on location so there is background noise.

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The battle for tenant retention at office buildings has been thrown into the spotlight by the rapid expansion of WeWork and now Workman has entered the fray with its new offering Welcome - Workman Offices, which is aiming to mesh the best bits of office services with property managment across the UK's more traditional office space.

 

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In this week's episode of TECHTALK RADIO, JLL Spark co-chief executive Mihir Shah, talks to EG about the creation of a $100m fund to invest in proptech start-ups.

The JLL Spark Global Venture Fund will invest in companies focussed on leveraging technology to improve everything from real estate development and management to leasing and investing.

It will also help entrepreneurs and their companies by connecting them with JLL’s clients for feedback and distribution of their products.

Shah explains how the fund will work and reveals that the team is already in conversation with “at least three” UK-based start-ups.

Also in this episode co-hosts Emily Wright and Samantha McClary get overly excited about some new gadgets and reveal more news about EG's latest tech events. 

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Investor interest in city centre residential development will be "the ongoing story of Leeds over the next 24 months" as the city region continues to target a devolution deal with government, according to Martin Farrington, Leeds city council director of city development.

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Brexit or not, Berlin will never rival London as Europe’s leading tech hub says CBRE’s EMEA head of digital innovation Thomas Herr. “There is only one London,” he says. “There is no way Berlin will ever be a London. It hurts me to say that, but it’s true.”

Herr, a Berliner himself, adds that despite the German capital’s burgeoning start-up scene, rising costs could turn it into “just another expensive, boring city.” 

A lack of housing stock - the vacancy rate for apartments currently stands at 1.2% - and tight office supply means that rising rents are threatening to quash entrepreneurial spirit. In a city where only 18% of people own their homes, Berlin’s apartment rents rose by 8.8% to 9.79 euros a month in 2017 according to CBRE - a figure which has grown 71% over the last decade. 

Residential options outside of the city and the prevalence of co-working space have, so far, successfully supported Berlin’s digital community. But does the German capital have what it takes to retain its raw, innovative talent despite a squeeze on space, supply and resource? 

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The Supreme Court has given its verdict in Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd on the oral variation of contracts.

To discuss its implications for the property industry, EG is joined by Michael Paget of Cornerstone Barristers, who acted in the case. 

He talks listeners through the case itself, its journey to the Supreme Court and shares his top tip for helping property professionals avoid issues with oral variation in the future.

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“Some pretty disgraceful things have been normalised,” Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, says, reflecting on diversity in property. But how do you change that?

Walkley and Tim Heatley, co-founder of regeneration specialist Capital & Centric, tell EG about Regeneration Brainery, a programme that connects 16-21 year-olds with mentors from across the industry. Consciously focusing on young people from diverse backgrounds who would not have family connections in property, Regeneration Brainery hopes to open up opportunities and give the next generation an "address book of contacts" to get ahead.

Listen to the latest Tomorrow’s Leaders podcast to find out why diversity matters to Heatley and Walkley and what the industry can do about it.

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Workplace design can attract talent but tomorrow’s office markets will still be dominated by cost and location says Alex Lifschutz, director, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

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Generational differences and their effect on the workplace rely less on age and more on the ability to embrace the unknown, according to Ray Richards of Do Something Different.

“Really what I am talking about is change” he said, speaking at the EG Workplace of Tomorrow Conference.

“It’s not the strongest people who survive or the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change… the one thing we have to do is understand how to embrace change, otherwise we will struggle, we will not thrive.”

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