Smart Urban Growth

Project: Supporting Smart Urban Growth: Successful Investing in Density

Overview: The aim of this project is to process and visualise data in an attempt to identify indicators of ‘good density’ in urban development and relate the resulting ‘good density’ model to investment returns, cost of infrastructure and carbon emissions. The project is funded by the Urban Land Institute and a high level consortium of global fund managers and investors in collaboration with New Climate Economy. It is led by Prof Kathy Pain, Chair in Real Estate Development and Director of Research in Real Estate and Planning, at the Henley Business SchoolUniversity of Reading.

Purpose: The project aims to build the case for both investors and the public sector to make the necessary investments into good density to make our cities more vibrant, liveable and sustainable. The idea is to specify and benchmark the relationship between urban form and ‘good density’; to identify what contributes to successful urban development. The research will look at both positive and negative factors related to urbanisation (e.g. carbon emissions, energy consumption, transportation, green and blue spaces, employment and economic vibrancy, and human well-being) to explore whether it is possible to establish a correlation between urban form and property investment returns that can be applied in cities in developed and developing countries; a selection of case cities will be identified for further analysis. Ultimately the links between urban form and good density identified will provide useful indicators to support decision making on urban development for planners, designers and real estate investors.

IEA role: Our role will be focused on data analytics and visualisation, using a wide range of input data sources (including environmental, infrastructure and planning) and presenting them in a clear, meaningful and engaging way.

Timeline: 20 weeks, starting in September 2016.

Partners: University of Reading (leading), IEAUniversity of Bath, Daniel Black Associates, the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and New Climate Economy (NCE).

Links: Urban Land Institute – Europe

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