Top 5 media stories from MIPIM 2018

March 16, 2018 • 4 minute read

With #MIPIM2018 drawing to a close, we reflect on the week’s discussions and take a look at the top 5 media stories from the conference that have been making headlines.


Placemaking has been a key theme for discussion at MIPIM this year, coinciding with the launch of our latest report exploring the communications challenges faced by Placemakers, from planning permission through to legacy. Indeed, with physical spaces ever more closely integrated with people and communities, it seems this sometimes labelled ‘buzzword’ is not merely a passing trend.

A sentiment shared by many at MIPIM, including Chris Kane, Chairman of Vanguard Real Estate, was that while there are myriad trends within placemaking which will likely fall in and out of fashion – such as the use of 3G turf for parks or sports pitches – the fundamentals of placemaking pervade this and are here to stay.


Best behaviour

Following the scandal at the Presidents Club, and the growth of the #MeToo and Times Up movements, attendees at MIPIM this year are facing greater scrutiny than ever before. Some have gone so far as to stay away from the event altogether, careful to distance themselves from any reputational fallout from possible misbehaviour.

Indeed, with increased media attention placed on the industry, it is time to address the elephant in the room and #continuetheconversation – something Infinite Global Director, Tali Robinson, considers in her latest blog post, highlighting the importance of women attending the event rather than boycotting, in order to make their voices heard.


The North

There was not even a whiff of pathetic fallacy attached to the flooding of the beach-level Manchester Pavilion as storms hit Cannes earlier in the week. Despite this damp start, the North of England has been very much in the spotlight during MIPIM.

Numerous initiatives – including the Northern Powerhouse and moves toward increased devolution in northern regions – have turned the spotlight onto the North. The investment opportunities to be found in and around the likes of Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle have all featured prominently at this year’s MIPIM.

For overseas investors, the message has been stressed that ‘all roads do not lead to London’. If this resonates, it will unlock further investment in the North, to the benefit of the whole of the UK.


Tech disruption

There has been much discussion on the disruptive effects of technological development, and the impact it is beginning to have on institutional real estate strategies. Although much has been made of the risks of technological advancement, there has also been a realisation that the industry needs to increase expertise in the area. This is particularly pertinent in the future-proofing of assets.

New technologies like BIM and VR/AR enable developers to map the entire life cycle of a real estate project, as well as ensuring that the built environment remains flexible and adaptable as technology advances further. Instead of a building becoming quickly dated or redundant in relying on ‘old’ technology, the emphasis is on keeping in step with continuous change.


London under the spotlight

The role of London as a ‘Big Seven’ global city has been under scrutiny in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. With the uncertainty that comes with it, officials are keen to show that ‘London is open’ to businesses and investors alike. A number of conversations at MIPIM have explored how the real estate industry will respond during this transitional period.


Our latest report, ‘Placemaking: Buzzword or Brand builder?’ explores the communications and branding issues faced by Placemakers, from across the Real Estate community as they seek to deliver places that resonate with people.

Download Placemaking report