Cities See Green and Brown at MIPIM

Remodelling brownfield sites and integrating sustainability into urban development strategies, will be two of the key issues discussed by city administrators and real estate executives during MIPIM 2010.

Among the cities attending the world's leading property market is Stockholm, which the European Commission has chosen as European Green Capital 2010. "As mayor of the first European Green Capital, MIPIM is an excellent platform to discuss sustainable solutions for the future with other mayors and to share the Stockholm experience on how to integrate the green perspective in policy making," notes Mayor of Stockholm Sten Nordin.

On March 17, Sten Nordin will deliver a keynote speech to delegates at MIPIM who include representatives from some 400 local authorities and over 100 political personalities (mayors, ministers, senators…).

"At MIPIM, municipalities and local authorities come to meet real estate professionals to share their ideas about developing their territories. During the event, they also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other cities faced with similar challenges. This is why we are organizing the second Mayors' Think Tank, a closed-door event for mayors and high-ranking local authority officials, which will address the theme of Infrastructure: key to sustainable growth," says MIPIM Director Nadine Castagna.

Among the cities presenting redevelopment projects for their industrial brownfield sites, Warsaw and Barcelona are particularly noteworthy this year.

In the Polish capital of Warsaw, Pirelli Pekao Real Estate Company – a joint venture between Polish bank Pekao and Italian developer Pirelli - will redevelop the Bielany suburb, the former site of the Huta Warszawa steelworks. Pirelli brings its experience of redeveloping brownfield sites in Italy to the project, and notably the transformation of the northern Italian city of Brescia. As in Brescia, the aim is to create a "harmonious interaction" of residential and industrial areas using buffer zones, noise barriers and green spaces.*

For its part, the Catalan city of Barcelona is already looking to the future by focusing its urban redevelopment plans on becoming a knowledge economy, specialised in new technology and advanced research. Current developments include the Alba Park (photo) and Delta BCN projects, both launched in 2009 and due for completion in 2013.*

Cities are increasingly playing a key role in addressing the environmental challenges faced by society today. Accordingly, the European Commission decided to showcase a different European city each year so that they can serve as an inspiration to others. The "European Green Capital" competition was launched in May 2008 and is designed to reward cities' efforts to integrate ecological and sustainable aspects into their forward-looking vision of urban development.

Real estate is a central element in the design of sustainable cities, and the two award winners, Stockholm and Hamburg, have understood this perfectly. At MIPIM, they will have the opportunity to present their green initiatives to other participating municipalities and real estate professionals, who are also key stakeholders in the development of the sustainable city.

Stockholm has already been resolutely engaged on the path to sustainability for a number of years and has chosen to systematically integrate environmental and sustainability criteria into its urban development strategy. As far back as 1990, it approved the construction of Hammarby Sjöstad, the world's biggest sustainable city district, with a fully-integrated infrastructure. It was this programme that inspired the Tianjin Eco City plan for a sustainable city in China.

Hamburg will take over from Stockholm as European Green Capital in 2011. The German port city has concentrated its efforts on moderate urban expansion and responsible management of city space. Rather than extending around its edges, the city authorities are encouraging inward growth. More than most other cities, Hamburg has turned to tapping the potential of the inner city, as exemplified by the Hafencity docklands conversion. Hamburg Hafencity, the largest ongoing urban development programme in Europe, with a total surface area of 1.57km², immediately stood out as a model for a sustainable and ecologically viable urban redevelopment programme.

* Find out more about city redevelopment projects to be showcased at MIPIM 2010 – click here.

on March 15, 2010