What to Expect at the 2016 ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Shanghai
May 25, 2016
Preparations are underway for the 2016 ULI Asia Pacific Summit, which will be held June 15 through 17 in Shanghai. In this month’s issue of ULI Connect, we feature a Q&A with John Fitzgerald, chief executive of ULI Asia Pacific. He discusses the summit’s big-picture themes, an exciting lineup of speakers, and a day-by-day look at the summit’s networking opportunities.
Give us some background on the fifth annual ULI Asia Pacific Summit. How has the summit evolved since its launch in 2011?
The ULI Asia Pacific Summit is the Institute’s signature event in the Asia. Over the past five years, the summit has established itself as one of the real estate and property industry’s premier gatherings in the region. This year, the event will bring together over 500 land use thought leaders from over 15 countries to examine trends and issues that impact cities and regions throughout Asia. We are thrilled to be hosting the summit this year in Shanghai, a dynamic, perpetually evolving global city that will offer attendees a glimpse of many of the trends and topics we will explore during the summit.
And we are excited to bring together ULI members from a variety of disciplines and sectors—public and private, investment, planning and design, real estate, and academic—to discuss how high-quality development influences the prosperity, sustainability, and livability of cities today, tomorrow, and generations in the future. Our goal is to help our members think outside the box and deliver practical and tactical real estate insight that can provide real take-home value that is driven by a strong, content-rich program.
“Navigating the New Normal” is the summit’s theme this year. What do you mean by this?
Simply put, “navigating the new normal” means that things are changing—fast. In Asia, this new reality means slower economic growth, rapid urbanization, speed-of-light technological changes, and greater geopolitical risks. What do all these factors mean for the built environment and real estate? We believe the content offered at the ULI Asia Pacific Summit can provide answers and insights into what the “new normal” looks like and how it will impact the real estate industry.
Can you give an overview of the lineup of speakers and the themes they will be addressing?
Here are a few highlights from the program, which is available at apacsummit.uli.org:
- Geopolitical futurist and best-selling author Parag Khanna, managing partner of the strategic advisory firm Hybrid Reality, will describe how megacities, supply chains, and connective technologies are redrawing maps and blurring boundaries between states and what this means for Asia and China.
- Vincent Lo, chairman of Shui On Group, shares his perspective on the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative, and the opportunities the initiative offers the business community and the real estate industry specifically.
- Rob Speyer, president and chief executive officer, Tishman Speyer, will speak on the impact of “the new normal” on building and development and how adaptability is key.
- A capital markets panel will discuss the emergence of homegrown Asian institutional money and how it has changed the investing dynamics in the global marketplace. The panel includes François Trausch, CEO of Allianz Real Estate; Lynn Thurber, chairman of LaSalle Investment Management; Loh Wai Keong, managing director and cohead (Asia), GIC Real Estate; and Goodwin Gaw, managing principal and chairman, Gaw Capital Partners.
- Our closing keynote is Gabe Klein, former head of transportation for the cities of Chicago and Washington, D.C., and author of Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun. Klein will focus on bridging the public/private divide, finding and celebrating shared goals, and forging better cities with more nimble, consumer-oriented bureaucracies.
Tell us more about the summit format and how it will provide ample opportunities for members to connect and convene.
The summit kicks off June 15 with a series of ULI Talks, interactive sessions organized around four topics—sustainability, mixed-use development, investment, and city planning. These are group meetings for 40 to 60 people, and participants are invited to candidly share their experience and perspectives. There is also a ULI forum on innovation and technology that will explore design and technology innovations for real estate, and how new technology in hardware and software will affect the way we invest and develop real estate.
The second day of the summit, June 16, is the main summit day, which will feature presentations from global and local industry leaders discussing “big-picture” topics. On the final day, June 17, we will offer six concurrent study tours to explore iconic and cutting-edge real estate and cultural projects in Shanghai, including Pudong Qiantan, the Yangpu district, Jingan District, Hongqiao Transportation Hub, and downtown Puxi.
What has been the response from ULI members and industry?
The program is shaping up nicely and we expect this year’s Asia Pacific Summit in Shanghai to be our best convening yet. We are delighted with the support from the industry: our headline sponsors include Hines, Shui On Land, and Tishman Speyer; and other sponsors include Chongbang Group, Hongkong Land, Brookfield, Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, and Hysan Properties. We expect a strong showing from these world-class organizations.