How will fast-growing Asian cities take pressure off the built environment?


Find out in Shanghai, the world’s most populous city, this month

Shanghai to host RICS forum. gui jun peng/Shutterstock

Rapid urbanisation in Asia will mean lopsided pressures on its cities’ construction and real estate. Asia’s highly populous cities increasingly confront challenges related to resilience and competitiveness, in addition to affordable housing and infrastructure provision.

The Asia Pacific region is due to receive 60 percent of global infrastructure investment by 2025, as per a joint study by PwC and Oxford Economics. China will be the main engine for this growth, spurred largely by the ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative, the country’s largest ever spending program.

The impacts of urbanisation, along with climate change and resource scarcity, on real estate, construction and infrastructure will underpin the discussion at The World Built Environment Forum on 27 and 28 March.

Shanghai will be the apt setting for the forum on relevant, innovative solutions to the most urgent economic and social issues facing the built environment sector. Convened by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the forum will include a keynote address delivered by Dr. Wen Wang, executive dean at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China.

More: Car-free cities gain foothold, face resistance in Asia

“China and the wider Asia Pacific region are driving economic development that will be felt globally for generations to come. The built environment is central to all of this,” stated Will Myles, RICS regional managing director for Asia Pacific in Singapore. “As the world’s most populous city and a global financial centre, Shanghai epitomizes the challenges we face in creating vibrant, sustainable and resilient spaces to live and work. This is the perfect location for RICS to convene the second Annual Summit of the World Built Environment Forum to stimulate discussions on matters of global relevance.”

The forum is expected to have property professionals and personages in attendance, in addition to governments, industry thought leaders, civil society stakeholders, and representatives from international regulatory bodies and financial services institutions. “We want to explore the challenges, find common approaches to tackle them and present workable long-term solutions,” said Sean Tompkins, RICS Chief Executive Officer.

“The built environment is also a product of humankind’s social, political and economic evolution. As a global professional body working across land, real estate, construction and infrastructure, RICS has created the World Built Environment Forum as a platform for meaningful engagement that leads to powerful change for citizens and the communities in which they live, no matter where they live.”

Read next: What will Shanghai look like in 2040?