The future of international cities headlines discussions at MIPIM 2009 (EUR)

From Toronto to Moscow, administrators of major international cities are preparing to head to MIPIM 2009 to meet with international investors and hold top-level discussions on future urban policy. Their presence this year will have particular significance given today's economic environment, since local authorities play a leading role in supporting the property sector by advocating ambitious, long-term projects.

For Regis Baudoin, Managing Director of the Paris Ile-de-France Regional Development Agency, "Ile-de-France's participation at MIPIM 2009 reflects our serious commitment to energise Greater Paris in readiness for after the crisis. It wants to focus attention on the region's tremendous real estate opportunities. Everyone looks to the winner during difficult times. The region is preparing for the future and for the emerging economic cycle by boosting its presence and visibility at MIPIM."

There is still plenty of intense, visible competition between major international cities to attract investors at MIPIM. In addition to the Paris Region, many other local authorities, including London, Manchester, Moscow, Budapest, Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Madrid, Milan, Athens, Oslo and Toronto will be presenting their projects with the aim of attracting new partners. Dr. Norbert Walter-Borjans, Director of the Department for Economic Development and Real Property, City of Cologne, says, "The presentation of Cologne & Partners focuses on the international appeal of the metropolis on the Rhine to forge partnerships with the real estate sector and together support the continuous growth strategy of our city for the future."

Major cities will be showcasing their urban development policies by highlighting their long-term strategies:

The renovation of brown-field sites or historic neighbourhoods is on the development agenda in several European cities. Hamburg, for example, will be presenting its joint port public-private investment renovation plan for 2020. Known as HafenCity, it is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The Paris Region will exhibit the development plan for the Ile Seguin, which aims to urbanise the former Renault car-making plant by creating a new neighbourhood offering a complete range of housing, offices, shops, cultural and education facilities. Budapest is revitalising its city centre, especially the main thoroughfare, by upgrading the tourism, culture and shopping real estate infrastructure.

Some cities are using a cultural or sporting event as a springboard for urban development. London, for example, will be promoting its infrastructure for the 2010 Olympic Games, while Milan will unveil its building plans for the Universal Exhibition that it will be hosting in 2015.

Others are trying to upgrade their business districts. The GrandLyon urban community will be showcasing its office real estate programme for the Part-Dieu business area. The Oxygen and Incity Towers are due to come on stream in 2010 and 2012 respectively, completely transforming the landscape of France's second-largest city. The city of Montreal's plans to expand its Technoparc in the Ville St. Laurent area will also be on show. The park is designing and building office space to accommodate R&D companies specialised in the life sciences, aerospace, telecommunications and the environment.

To meet the concerns of local communities, MIPIM 2009 will lay on a series of events and conferences about the highly topical issue of whether cities can square business development with a sustainable development policy. The programme will include the 'Mayor's Think Tank,' a debate of ideas for a panel of 80 mayors meeting in private, as well as two sessions in the conference programme.

In addition to cities, MIPIM will represent every facet of the real estate sector, with an expected 20,000 delegates from around the world.

Source: Reed MIDEM

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