Rob Speyer recently discussed the importance of interconnectivity between real estate and transportation at the Urban Land Institute’s 2016 Asia Pacific Summit, which took place on June 15-17 in Shanghai. An estimated 2.5 billion people are expected to move to cities by 2050, posing a challenge for city mayors looking to combat excessive traffic issues and pollution.
“In the past, sometimes we built transportation after real estate, and sometimes we built it before real estate,” Speyer said. “But now, finally, we are building transportation and real estate at the same time.”
Speyer cited Shanghai as an example of a city that currently uses public transit efficiently to benefit real estate development.
“Shanghai isn’t just building; it’s building with a plan for decades ahead,” he said. “It is a city with energy, with confidence, with a sense of destiny—but more so a city with leadership.”
Speyer commended Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong and his predecessor, Han Zheng, for their efforts in overseeing the expansion of Shanghai’s subway network. Similar to Tishman Speyer’s development approach, Shanghai is locating major real estate developments on transit nodes to provide easy access to its tenants and workers.
“If you own an apartment or office building far from public transit, how can you compete with an apartment block of buildings two blocks from the subway?” Speyer asked.
Speyer called on more city leaders around the glove to drive public transit initiatives that support smart real estate development. “Property and transportation will increasingly become a single deal,” Speyer said. “We have 2.5 billion people moving to cities, and as much as they need somewhere to go, they also need some way to get there.”
Rob Speyer on the Future of Cities can be viewed below: