A key talking point at this year’s MIPIM event has been the increasing prevalence of technology in the property sector, and more importantly, how we now have an opportunity and a responsibility to utilise technology to plan for the cities of the future.

As the use of digital technology becomes increasingly synonymous with our day to day existence, it is only a matter of time before this is reflected in the way we design and construct buildings.

At Deloitte, we recognise that doing more than maintaining the standard of living for the rapidly growing global population will rely on our ability to develop the way we manage urban neighbourhoods. Technology will be key to this.

It has been encouraging to hear the creative ways in which attendees and speakers at this year’s MIPIM have proposed the use of technology in real estate. From digital command centres to smart waste management systems and integrated sensor systems, the groundwork is being laid for the cities of tomorrow.

Our work with the city of Cascais represents a key case study in this respect. It is a shining example of how technology can make a positive difference to the lives of the people who live there.

Over the past few years, the city has implemented a large portfolio of technology-based improvements, ranging from energy-efficient buildings to remote parking payments. The result is a single, collaborative ecosystem that operates efficiently and effectively. The waste management system alone is expected to save the city nearly €900,000 per year, allowing Cascais to focus the right resources at the right place and at the right time.

More importantly, Cascais is developing a model that can be replicated by other European cities of similar size and inhabitants, and it may not be long before we see other locations follow suit. 

The future of city planning and real estate development is incredibly exciting as the market embraces technology at an increasing pace. While there is still some way to go before we see these steps truly make a difference to the lives of citizens in cities across the North West, the discussions at this year’s MIPIM give me great encouragement that we are moving in the right direction.

John Cooper - Partner, Real Estate Advisory

John is a Partner in the Manchester Planning and Development team originally joined as a graduate in 1998. He has extensive experience of preparing Strategic Development Frameworks and managing complex Planning, Listed Building and Conservation Area applications. He advises on major city centre regeneration projects as well as commercial and residential projects in Greater Manchester, throughout the North of the UK and beyond.

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