ULI announces rapid growth of ULI Urban Investment Network (EUR)

Long-term, solid relationships between the private and public sector are viewed as invaluable in securing investment into urban areas, according to a recent survey of the 2,300 European members of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) - a global research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use.

The survey findings, revealed last week, showed that:

· 48% thought that building long term relationship with cities was the way to make investment happen for leading investors and developers
· 62% reported that more joint ventures between public and private sector were the way forward in the next 10 – 20 years
· Only 10% thought that Europe lacked good projects in which to invest

In the light of these insights, ULI announced the successful addition of more leading cities to a new public - private initiative in Europe, the ULI Urban Investment Network. The cities of Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Istanbul have joined with Barcelona as Founding Partners of this new platform, which will share best practices and foster excellence in collaboration between public and private sector organisations. Private sector Founding Partners are Allianz Real Estate, ECE, Eurohypo AG and ING Real Estate Development.

The initiative began 18 months ago after earlier ULI research into city investment and regeneration best practices in Europe. The ULI report, 'Closing the Investment Gap in Europe's Cities' concluded that 'investment gaps' appeared in four areas; capital, skills, frameworks and collaboration. ULI found that there were many individual successes, but that there was no pan-European platform for continuous sharing of best practices between cities and the private sector.

Therefore, ULI and several Founding Partners launched the Urban Investment Network to provide high quality content mixed with regular knowledge sharing workshops and conferences.

"No one was bringing together the key decision makers on a meaningful basis to share experiences in the area of collaboration and to ask did it really work? Now we have a platform and it is beginning to reveal many approaches," stated Menno Maas, Chief Executive Officer, ING Real Estate Development.

A total of eighteen partners have now joined the network including Deutsche Bank, OECD, the UK Government Department for Communities and Local Government – and Birmingham City. Workshops have been held across Europe in the past year, including a session hosted in Brussels by the European Investment Bank, which fed into the recently published Urban Investment Network report, Value Capture Finance: Making Urban Development Pay Its Way.

The financial crisis has amplified the need for such a deep knowledge and relationship building platform for cities, investors and developers. The Urban Investment Network Partners are together seeking new ways to unlock stalled development, infrastructure and regeneration projects.

Today is also a significant milestone in the evolution of this important new network, as Barcelona hosts the first ULI Urban Investment Network Summit. Partners of the network will debate a Summit Paper entitled 'Key Principles for Public Private Collaboration' and discuss innovative financial frameworks, including value capture finance and global investment trends.

"Our goal by the end of 2011 is to create a vibrant network of 100 cities and metropolitan areas with 100 investors and developers, facilitated by ULI and with the support of leading European institutions, to share knowledge on the best ways to collaborate in urban investment and regeneration. We are well on track," explained William Kistler, President of ULI EMEAI (Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India).

Source: ULI

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