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SMART CITIES

TRANSPORTATION

BIG DATA

SIDEWALK’S TORONTO

FROM SCOOTERS TO SKYPORTS

PUTTING DATA TO WORK

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CA LI FO RN I A

2nd

largest city in Riverside County

212,682

Moreno Valley Population 2019

21st

largest city in CALIFORNIA

20-mile radius population

2,375,586 TRANSPORTATION

SERVED BY

20,000

JOBS created in 6 years

square

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CALIFORNIA STATE ROUTE 60 | INTERSTATE 215 METROLINK CHARTER & CARGO FLIGHTS FROM MARCH INLAND PORT AIRPORT INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM ONTARIO AIRPORT

951.413.3460 | edteam@morenovalleybusiness.com www.morenovalleybusiness.com

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Las Vegas: Tech Happens Here Best known as a global destination, Las Vegas boasts one of the country’s fastest growing economies, a high quality of life with no state or corporate taxes, low cost of living and world-class amenities. No wonder the city has become a hot spot for emerging and established tech companies. Innovation District Established by the city of Las Vegas in the heart of downtown, the Innovation District concentrates smart city technology infrastructure investment to encourage and support the testing of new technologies with a focus on those that support Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs).

For more information:

Top Up-and-Coming Tech Talent Market

International Innovation Center @ Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the nation’s up-and-coming tech talent markets for 2019, according to CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent Report. Las Vegas’ tech workforce grew 35 percent over the last five years.

The newly established International Innovation Center @ Vegas is a home for start-ups and established tech companies to develop and test emerging technologies that support city initiatives such as cybersecurity, advanced mobile data, water science and more.

Ryan Smith 702.229.3268 rysmith@lasvegasnevada.gov innovate.vegas

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urbanland® U R B A N L A N D. U L I .O R G VO L U M E 7 8 , N U M B E R 5

PUBLISHER

Catherine Gahres

TECHNOLOGY 2019

urbanland VO L U M E 7 8 , N U M B E R 5

®

U R B A N L A N D. U L I .O R G

catherine.gahres@uli.org E D I TO R I N C H I E F

Elizabeth Razzi

elizabeth.razzi@uli.org C O P Y E D I TO R S

James A. Mulligan

james.mulligan@uli.org

David James Rose

30 Driven by Data How will emerging technologies shape cities?

david.rose@uli.org A R T D I R E C TO R

Betsy Van Buskirk

betsy.vanbuskirk@uli.org O N L I N E E D I TO R / B O O K S E D I TO R

Brett Widness

brett.widness@uli.org P R O D U C T I O N D I R E C TO R

Craig Chapman

craig.chapman@uli.org S E N I O R M A N AG E R , G LO B A L A DV E R T I S I N G

Mary Sumner

+1 202-753-4777/mary.sumner@uli.org Urban Land® (ISSN 0042-0891) is published five times a year in January, April, July, September, and November by the Urban Land Institute, 2001 L Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 200364948; urbanland.uli.org ©2019 the Urban Land Institute, all rights reserved. Receipt of Urban Land is a benefit of membership in the Urban Land Institute. Single and multiple copies are available through ULI Publications Orders (800-321-5011 or e-mail: bookstore@uli.org). Opinions expressed in articles or columns appearing in Urban Land are those of the author(s) or person(s) quoted and are not necessarily those of Urban Land or of the Urban Land Institute. Advertisements appearing in the magazine do not constitute or imply endorsement by Urban Land or the Urban Land Institute. Urban Land assumes no responsibility for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts or graphics. The contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part or in any form without written authorization. Article proposals for Urban Land can be sent by e-mail to Elizabeth Razzi (elizabeth.razzi@uli.org). Letters can be sent by e-mail to elizabeth.razzi@ uli.org. Submissions are subject to editing for clarity, style, and length. Urban Land’s editorial calendar, editorial and graphics specifications, and photo permission agreement forms can be requested from Elizabeth Razzi at elizabeth. razzi@uli.org. To request permission to reprint Urban Land articles, contact Brett Widness at brett.widness@uli.org. Postmaster: Send address changes and circulation inquiries to Urban Land, Member Services Division, ULI, 2001 L Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036-4948. Periodicals postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing offices. Printed in the U.S.A. Urban Land print articles, along with additional original content, are posted regularly to the Urban Land online magazine, Urbanland.uli.org.

56 32 Outlook for Property Technology Members of ULI’s new technology product councils in Asia Pacific and Europe join members of the Technology and Real Estate Council in the Americas to share their thoughts on questions related to proptech.

32 Americas 36 Asia Pacific 40 Europe

53 Sidewalk Lays Out a Path to the Future in Toronto PATR ICK L. PHILLIPS

56 Tomorrow’s Transport: Pie in the Sky? KEVIN B R ASS

The talk about futuristic transportation has been exciting, but reality may be more expensive—and farther off—than imagined.

46 The Smarter City PATR ICK J. KIGER

In Toronto, Sidewalk Labs has sketched out an ambitious vision for a high-tech urban environment designed with human needs rather than technology in mind. Whether it will come to fruition remains unclear.

COVER: HEADQUARTERS FOR NVIDIA, A COMPUTER GRAPHICS TECHNOLOGY FIRM I N S A N TA C L A R A , CALIFORNIA. DESIGN BY GENSLER.

SMART CITIES

TRANSPORTATION

BIG DATA

SIDEWALK’S TORONTO

FROM SCOOTERS TO SKYPORTS

PUTTING DATA TO WORK

PHOTO: JASON O’REAR

TECHNOLOGY 2019

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TECHNOLOGY 2019

urbanland®

64 Landwrites

U L I G LO B A L B OA R D O F D I R E C TO R S Owen D. Thomas, ULI Global Chairman Thomas W. Toomey, Immediate Past Global Chairman Douglas D. Abbey, ULI Foundation Chairman John R. Chandler, ULI Americas Chairman Juergen Fenk, ULI EMEA Chairman Nicholas Brooke, ULI Asia Chairman W. Edward Walter, ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Thomas R. Arnold, Treasurer Peter Ballon, Secretary Marty Burger, At Large Goodwin Gaw, At Large Patricia Healy, At Large Anne Kavanagh, At Large Roy March, At Large Constance B. Moore, At Large Amy Price, At Large Wayne Ratkovich, At Large Ralph Rosenberg, At Large Francois X. Trausch, At Large

64 How to Implement a Smart Building J O H A N N E S NUSS BAUM

A nervous system capable of collecting data and a brain that is able to make use of it are vital to a system that meets the needs of stakeholders—and society.

67 Involve the Public in Data Collection for Better Results I B E N FA LCO NE R

Principles for making cities smart—for the people in them.

67

U L I G LO B A L G OV E R N I N G T R U S T E E S

18 Developments 10 Women Receive WLI Prologis Achievement Awards Registration Opens for 2020 ULI Europe Conference ULI’s Annual Report for FY2019 Developments Win ULI Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award ULI Housing Policy Leadership Award Winners Announced

21 Inside the ULI Foundation

24

Support Is Vital for Expanded Technology Research

24 ULX Smart Buildings R O N N Y R EN

Ten buildings make use of intelligent technologies to enhance the tenant experience, save energy and other resources, and gather data to help with building operations.

73 Tech Takeaways

84 Back Page

PATRI CK J. KIGER A N D M I K E S H E R IDA N

Expect 5G to Slow Its Roll as It Enters Buildings

Technology and innovation were hot topics at the 2019 ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C. These are some of the insights that speakers and attendees shared.

R OB PEGOR A R O

Commercial structures could be a formidable barrier to 5G wireless.

Departments 14 CEO Perspective 17 This Issue

registry of advertisers

8

1VALET . . . . . . . . . . . . .Outside back cover www.1valet.com

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Amerant Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 www.amerantbank.com

Real Massive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 www.realmassive.com

Baker Barrios Architects, Inc. . . . . . . . . 61 www.bakerbarrios.com

Economic & Urban Development Department, City of Las Vegas . . . . . . . . 1 www.lasvegasnevada.gov/Business/ Economic-Development

Berkshire Residential Investments . . . . . 9 www.berkshireresi.com

First American Title . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22,23 www.firstam.com

Bractlet, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 www.bractlet.com

Hord Coplan Macht . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 www.hcm2.com

City of Moreno Valley . . Inside front cover www.morenovalleybusiness.com

K-Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 english.kwater.or.kr/eng/main.do?s_mid=4

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W H O ’ S W H O AT U L I A N D T H E U L I F O U N DAT I O N The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research organization that was founded in 1936. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

TECHNOLOGY 2019

Ten-X, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 www.ten-x.com View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62,63 www.view.com Westfalia Technologies, Inc. . . . . . . . . . 16 www.westfaliaparking.com

Douglas D. Abbey; Stuart Ackerberg; Tetsuji Arimori; Thomas R. Arnold; Peter Ballon; Patricia Barrigan; Phil Belling; Gero Bergmann; Gary Berman; Stephan Bone-Winkel; Ryan Botjer; Jonathan H. Brinsden; Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg; Marty Burger; Robert G. Byron; Joseph C. Canizaro; Daniel M. Cashdan; Benjamin Cha; James J. Chaffin; Albert Chan; John R. Chandler; Nathalie Charles; Hei Ming Cheng; Christopher Choa; Donald Choi; Khoo Teng Chye; Simon Clark; Michael Cochran; Frank Cohen; Franz Colloredo-Mansfeld; Alison Cooke; Sarah Cooper; Clare De Briere; Xavier Denis; Jeffrey A. Dritley; Sigrid Duhamel; Scott Dunn; Ame Engelhart; David Faulkner; Kevin Faxon; Rosemary Feenan; Juergen Fenk; Antonio Fiol-Silva; Harry H. Frampton; Marnix Galle; Jeffrey Gates; Goodwin Gaw; Jonathan Geanakos; Alexander Gebauer; David Gilbert; Stuart Grant; Richard Green; Greenlaw Grupe; Greta Guggenheim; Mary M. Hager; Jill Hatton; Patricia Healy; Sophie HenleyPrice; Peter Holland; George Hongchoy; Jeffrey D. Horowitz; Karen Horstmann; Lars Huber; Brad M. Hutensky; Yu-Ning Hwang; Brian A. Jackson; Monica Jindia; Patrick Kanters; Anne Kavanagh; Michael F. Kelly; Richard A. Kessler; Phil Kim; James D. Klingbeil; Bryan J. Koop; Henrie W. Kotter; William Lashbrook; Ric Lewis; Thai Ker Liu; Jane Lloyd; Keith M. Locker; Mary K. Ludgin; Susan MacDonald; William C. MacDonald; Ian Mackie; Todd W. Mansfield; Roy Hilton March; Steven Marsh; Lauralee E. Martin; Robert Mathews; Jodie W. McLean; Michael McNamara; Sharmil Modi; Constance Moore; Brian Moran; Hiroo Mori; Kelly Sewell Nagel; Daniel M. Neidich; Dionne Nelson; Jeremy Newsum; Robert O’Brien; Blake G. Olafson; Philip Payne; Patrick L. Phillips; Kari Pitkin; Roger Platt; Amy G. Price; Richard T.G. Price; Stephen R. Quazzo; Dale Ramsden; I. Rocke Ransen; Deborah Ratner Salzberg; Alan F. Riffkin; Joseph B. Rose; Ralph Rosenberg; Wendy Rowden; Randall K. Rowe; Raymond Rufino; Peter S. Rummell; Christian Schede; N.H. Seek; Edward Siskind; John So; K.K. So; Hilary Spann; Michael Spies; Gayle Starr; Martin Stern; Van J. Stults; Jon Tanaka; Marilyn Jordan Taylor; J. Ronald Terwilliger; Lynn Thurber; Jaap Tonckens; Thomas W. Toomey; François Trausch; Bob van der Zande; D. Michael Van Konynenburg; Sophie van Oosterom; Guido Verhoef; W. Edward Walter; Megan Walters; K. Jay Weaver; Kavindi Wickremage; Leslie Woo; Takashi Yamamoto; Smedes York; Jon H. Zehner; Kevork A. Zoryan

ULI LIFE TRUSTEES Nicholas Brooke; Joseph Brown; James DeFrancia; Wayne Doran; Robert Engstrom; Gerald Hines; Stuart Lipton; Bowen McCoy; Alexander Otto; Henry Paparazzo; Wayne Ratkovich; James Todd U L I F O U N DAT I O N B OA R D O F D I R E C TO R S Douglas D. Abbey, ULI Foundation Chairman Owen D. Thomas, ULI Global Chairman W. Edward Walter, ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Ralph Rosenberg, Treasurer Greg Vogel, Secretary Constance B. Moore, ULI Global Board of Directors Member Stephen C. Conley, Annual Fund Chair Andy Martin, Europe Charitable Trust Chair James D. Klingbeil, Chairman Emeritus Bruce Etkin, At Large Michael D. Fascitelli, At Large John Healy, At Large Stephen R. Quazzo, At Large Geoffrey Stack, At Large Jeffrey L. Swope, At Large Thomas W. Toomey, At Large U L I E X E C U T I V E S TA F F T E A M W. Edward Walter, Global Chief Executive Officer Gwyneth Cote, President, Americas Cheryl Cummins, Global Governance Officer John Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer, ULI Asia Pacific Phillip Horn, Chief Advancement Officer Adam Smolyar, Chief Marketing and Membership Officer Michael Terseck, Chief Financial Officer Lisette van Doorn, Chief Executive Officer, ULI EMEA U L I F E L LOW S Ralph Boyd, Senior Resident Fellow for Leadership and Strategy Tom Murphy, Senior Resident Fellow, ULI/Klingbeil Family Chair for Urban Development Edward T. McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow, ULI/Charles Fraser Chair for Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy

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Investing in thriving communities – now and for generations to come.

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The intersection of asphalt and technology. There’s 1 billion parking spaces in the United States, but less than 5% are managed. Our cloud-based GLIDEPARCSŽ platform delivers full-stack parking management. Activate more spaces that were previously overlooked, underutilized or unbalanced. premiumparking.com/ULI

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NO C AP I TAL | N O BA R R I E R S | U N LI M I T E D FLE X IB ILIT Y

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ceoperspective At the Intersection of Technology and Real Estate Over the past several years, ULI has become increasingly focused on the intersection of technology and real estate. The topic has dominated thought leadership sessions at Institute meetings large and small; sparked the creation of Technology and Real Estate Ed Walter ULI Global Chief Executive Officer product councils in the Americas, the Asia Pacific region, and Europe; and, as evidenced by this special issue of Urban Land, inspired ULI content featuring insights from our members and other experts on what to expect. It is an intriguing area for us to explore because it has enormous implications for the future of real estate investment and development. Not surprisingly, the “march of technology” is identified by our Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2020 report as a trend transforming our industry and bringing new standards of what constitutes normal to the business of city building. Members interviewed for the report, released just a few weeks ago at our 2019 Fall Meeting, identified construction technology as the disrupter of greatest importance, followed by cybersecurity, big data analytics, coworking, the internet of things, the sharing/gig economy, artificial intelligence, workplace automation, autonomous vehicles, 5G implementation, 3-D printing, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, and, finally, drone technology. While each factor alone is significant, the collective impact of these factors is both daunting and exciting to consider. One key challenge is the impact on planning for urban growth. For instance, for decades there has been a relatively predictable relationship between growth of employment and the demand for office space, as well as a predictable correlation between growth in household incomes and retail space requirements. In the techdriven economy, however, those rules of thumb have become highly variable and much less predictable. A consequence of this unpredictable environment is a shift in traditional planning standards, which must be replaced with less-rigid policies, such as those pertaining to parking-space minimums and zoning. As more cities incorporate flexibility into the planning 14

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process, and as more tech tools change how people negotiate and navigate civic life, our industry must evolve and innovate as we respond to new demands and preferences for space. To fully leverage these opportunities, the real estate industry as a whole should be adapting more quickly to new technologies. Indeed, “real estate is manifestly advancing along a steep technological curve,” Emerging Trends says, and even though the property sector itself is considered a relatively slow adopter, industry professionals are “nevertheless prone to consider the threshold to the ‘brave new world’ no more than a short step away.” While slow adaptation is a challenge for our industry, it is a leadership opportunity for our Institute. It is an opportunity for ULI to help our members better understand how technology advances are influencing design and development decisions that will shape cityscapes for decades to come. We can do this by expanding member-to-member knowledge sharing in this area, enlarging ULI’s “big tent” by forging new partnerships with leaders in the technology industry, and enriching our education programs with more offerings devoted to the intersection of real estate and technology. And the investments we are making in ULI’s member-facing technology platforms can help with this effort—especially the newly improved version of Knowledge Finder, which connects members to the Institute’s vast repository of content. It is my hope that the expertise shared in this issue of Urban Land will spark more member conversations and more local and regional programming about the impact of technology on real estate. We can expect the topic to factor into thought leadership discussions next year at ULI’s Europe Conference in Amsterdam, the 2020 Spring Meeting in Toronto, and the Asia Pacific Summit in Tokyo; and it will be front and center at our 2020 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, a city that will forever be one of the great examples of tech’s influence on the urban experience. As ULI continues to explore real estate and technology, one thing is clear: building for permanence means building for change, by providing space that can easily and quickly accommodate whatever is coming next— and what’s next after that. The emergence of technology as a feeder for urban development holds great promise for our industry and our Institute. In this time of rapid change, there has perhaps never been a more interesting time to be in real estate. UL

TECHNOLOGY 2019

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The Future of Development Deserves Better Data

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thisissue

Sifting Through the Fads and the Must-Haves Property Technology,” begins on page 32. Council leaders share how they keep their eyes on the bottom line when evaluating new technologies— and the promises being pitched to them. Former ULI chief executive officer Patrick L. Phillips offers his insights on the mightily ambitious plans proposed by Sidewalk Labs (a sister company of Google) for the waterfront in Toronto. Technology is embedded throughout the plans, but so are principles of sound urban planning. Coverage of the plans put forth by Sidewalk Labs begins on page 46 with the article, “The Smarter City.” And, in this issue, we offer a new editorial feature: “Tech Takeaways.” Over seven pages, we offer snippets of tech-related information discussed at the ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., along with additional reporting. It’s an easy read covering a lot of ground. And, finally, on page 84, tech writer Rob Pegoraro reports on the practicalities of bringing 5G wireless technology into large structures. His bottom line: there won’t be much payoff to being an early adopter. Watch for the next issue of Urban Land to arrive early in the new year. It will cover financial and economic trends for the coming year, including a comprehensive look at the Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2020 reports for Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas. We also will have a fresh report on Opportunity Zones in the United States. Best wishes to you for the remainder of 2019. UL Elizabeth Razzi Editor in Chief

TECHNOLOGY 2019

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@ S H A R E A L I K E 4 . 0 I N T E R N AT I O N A L

When technology is most useful, you quickly forget how much science, engineering, hardware, and software are involved in it. You focus instead on the service and convenience it offers; it becomes part of your routine. You assume, for example, that an Uber will be available to take you home at odd hours, and even from odd locations. We don’t tend to ponder the cellphone towers, satellite-enabled GPS, computer servers, or miniaturized phone circuitry that allow such wizardry. Even when a technology is useful, it often carries unintended consequences. Take, for example, the doorbell camera I recently installed at home. It’s handy to be able to see a visitor at the door when I’m not there, especially because I can speak with him through my mobile phone and he’s not certain whether I am out of town or on the couch. When we’re on the road and my dog hears the doorbell jingle through my phone, he can bark at the mailman from afar. That’s an unexpected benefit for him. But the technology carries unintended consequences: neighbors passing by on the sidewalk, who did not sign up for surveillance, are recorded on video that’s uploaded to the internet. In some cases—usually with the doorbell owner’s consent, but not always—such videos are shared with local police as a matter of course. (I have not volunteered to share my front door video with anyone.) Whether such sharing is desirable is something each person must wrestle with. And communities face the delicate task of balancing privacy with public safety. Which emerging real estate technologies will become the must-haves, and which will be the near misses? You can take your chances on a $100 doorbell, but if you are investing millions in a property or trying to run a profitable business, you cannot afford to waste resources on fads. Those two questions— what are the unintended consequences, and which technologies have staying power—are themes running throughout this special issue of Urban Land. With the establishment of new technology product councils in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, in addition to the Technology and Real Estate Council in the Americas that launched in 2018, we have the opportunity to hear the views of leading ULI members from around the world regarding a single, though broad, topic. This roundtable conversation, “Outlook for

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develop m 10 Women Receive WLI Prologis Achievement Awards Ten female real estate professionals were recognized at the ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., as the 2019 recipients of ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) Prologis Achievement Award. They were hosted at the meeting by senior WLI members who are serving as mentors to help those honored advance in the industry and strengthen their engagement with ULI.

The WLI Prologis Achievement Award is part of ULI’s focus on increasing diversity and inclusivity throughout the Institute and the industry. The mission of WLI is to promote diversity and inclusion by supporting the professional development of female members and the advancement of more women into leadership roles. “The achievement award is founded on the premise that women make up half of the population and therefore should make up 50 percent of leadership in the real estate industry,” said Gayle Starr, ULI global governing trustee and WLI leader, in recognizing the

2019 award recipients. “If we can increase the number of women in real estate, eventually we will change the C-suite makeup for greater gender equity at senior levels.” Starr recently retired from Prologis as managing director of capital markets after 27 years at the global logistics real estate firm and its predecessor company, AMB. Each of the 2019 award recipients is active in ULI locally through the Institute’s district council network. The recipients are: l Robyn Brown, ULI Toronto, senior land use planner/land economist, IBI Group, Toronto;

From left: Laura Spry, Prologis; Joy Sinderbrand; Sarah Wick; Alison Jarvis; Lissa Lunt; Chinar Starck; Cortney Cole; Marina Trejo; Erica Leatham; Robyn Brown; Maggie Hamilton Winship; Gayle Starr, Prologis.

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p ments l Cortney Cole, ULI Houston, managing director, Houston office of JLL Capital Markets, Americas; l Alison Jarvis, ULI Houston, principal, Jarvis Civil Engineering; l Erica Leatham, ULI Triangle, vice president, planning and entitlements, Raleigh division of M/I Homes; l Lissa Lunt, ULI Chicago, vice president, Pritzker Realty Group, Chicago; l Joy Sinderbrand, ULI New York, vice president, recovery and resilience, New York City Housing Authority; l Chinar Starck, ULI San Francisco, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate Group, San Francisco; l Marina Trejo, ULI New York, director of development, Two Trees Management, New York City; and l Sarah Wick, ULI Chicago, senior associate, Related Group, Chicago; and l Maggie Hamilton Winship, ULI New York, director of strategic planning for Amherst and Williamsville, New York. The WLI Prologis Achievement Award was first presented in 2015. Recipients receive a complimentary registration to ULI’s Fall Meeting and up to $2,000 in travel expenses to help them strengthen their connections with industry leaders. At the meeting, recipients are invited to attend a ULI product council meeting—a highly soughtafter opportunity for member knowledge sharing—as well as all WLI events at the meeting. TRISHA RIGGS is ULI senior vice president of

Registration Opens for 2020 ULI Europe Conference Registration is now open for the 2020 ULI Europe Conference, which will be held February 3–5 in Amsterdam. ULI Europe’s flagship event, now in its 24th edition, attracts more than 600 real estate professionals from more than 25 countries, offering a unique opportunity to connect with some of the most influential people in European real estate. Decision-makers from every sector of the industry attend the event, including developers, investors, owners, lenders, public officials, planners, architects, consultants, lawyers, engineers, and other land use professionals.

Daniel L. Doctoroff

Those attending will be invited to an exclusive reception and dinner at the Beurs van Berlage, an iconic building built in 1903 in the heart

of Amsterdam. Redevelopment has created an impressive event space, where guests will hear from Daniel L. Doctoroff, former deputy mayor of New York City (2001–2008) and now chairman and chief executive officer of Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet. Sidewalk Labs is seeking to develop Quayside, a new district intended to serve as the global model for the 21st-century city, integrating great urban design with cutting-edge technology. (Learn more about Sidewalk’s plans for Toronto in the article that begins on page 46 of this issue.) More information about the Europe Conference can be found on the event website, europeconference.uli.org. Register by December 11 to take advantage of the earlybird rate.

ULI’S ANNUAL REPORT FOR FY2019 ULI’s global efforts to create communities that are sustainable, prosperous, and livable are documented in the Institute’s latest Annual Report, which will be available in December. The report reviews accomplishments during fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019). The report encapsulates Thomas W. Toomey’s last year as the Institute’s global chair while focusing on ULI’s continued success as an organization that is highly influential and effective as a land use thought leader on a local and global scale. In addition to the implementation of ULI’s Global Strategic Plan, the depth and breadth of the organization is demonstrated by an array of achievements, including ongoing refinements to

member-facing technology tools such as Navigator, which connects members to volunteer opportunities; Member Directory, which connects members to members; and Knowledge Finder, which connects members to ULI’s best content. The report highlights ULI’s efforts to increase diversity and inclusion throughout the Institute; increase member engagement in ULI’s education programs; and increase participation in the Advisory Services program. It also showcases ULI’s member-informed research on housing, resilience, and capital markets. The 2019 Annual Report, which includes a section highlighting the ULI Foundation’s generous support of ULI, will be available at annualreport. uli.org.

communications.

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developments Developments Win ULI Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award Plaza Roberto Maestas in Seattle; the Lindley in Chevy Chase, Maryland; and the Watson in Quincy, Massachusetts, have been selected as winners of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing’s 2019 Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award. Developments eligible for the award are those in which all or a portion of the units are affordable to households earning up to 120 percent of the area median income. “These projects demonstrate the hard work, creative thinking, and leadership that are necessary to provide affordable housing for those who so desperately need it,” says jury chair J. Ronald Terwilliger, founder of the Terwilliger Center and former ULI chairman. “They are all examples of what is achievable, and it is my hope that they inspire more creativity and more solutions in more of our communities.” Details on the 2019 winners are: Plaza Roberto Maestas. Owned l by El Centro de la Raza, a civil rights organization grounded in the Latino community that provides a range of services, Plaza Roberto Maestas is a landmark equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle. This development locates affordable housing near high-­ quality transit, economic opportunities, retail businesses, and recreational amenities. l The Lindley. A new luxury, mixedincome multifamily building in Chevy Chase, the Lindley is one of the first buildings of its kind to include private equity as a major funding source while remaining under the principal control of a 20

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public housing authority. Previously the site of 68 low-rise garden apartments owned by the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, the complex was designed to take advantage of density near major traffic hubs and future transit options. l The Watson. Developed on the site of a vacant office building adjacent to a largely dormant shipbuilding facility in Quincy, the Watson is a mixed-income development that includes a conference room, a network café, a club room, and outdoor gathering space. The development hinged on public and private partners developing an innovative financing structure. The award honors the memory of Jack Kemp, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a ULI Terwilliger Center national advisory board member. The jury also recognized the Chicon in Austin, Texas, with a Chairman’s Award, a special recognition bestowed for a creative project designed specifically to address affordable housing issues in the city. Two three-story buildings are home to 28 owner-occupied units above commercial space, making the project the first for-sale affordable housing in Austin to be both mixed income and mixed use. Finalists were Aldrich 51 in Austin; Beach Green Dunes in Queens, New York; and the Gateway North Apartments in Boston. Members of the jury were Tamara Dudukovich, vice president and director of development, Catalyst Communities; Alan George, executive vice president and chief investment officer, Equity Residential; Lisa Gordon, president and chief executive officer, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity; Linda Mandolini, president, Eden Housing; and Margaret Wylde, chief executive officer, Pro Matura Group. JUSTIN ARNOLD is manager of

communications at ULI.

ULI Housing Policy Leadership Award Winners Announced The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) were selected by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing as joint winners of the 2019 Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award, a recognition of innovative ways the public sector is addressing the affordable housing crisis. The New York City HDC was selected for its creative approach to deploying capital toward affordable housing. The Mitchell-Lama Program, created in 1955, facilitated the construction of over 140,000 units in more than 300 developments. In response to the risk of expiring affordability requirements, The HDC created the Mitchell-Lama Reinvestment Program. This program provides Mitchell-Lama rentals and co-ops with ultra-low-cost capital and waives financing fees to address maintenance needs, in exchange for keeping the 100 remaining Mitchell-Lama developments (accounting for more than 45,000 homes) at affordable rates. The goal of the PRA’s Workforce Housing Program is to identify clusters of publicly owned land, bundle the properties, and sell them at the highest possible price for the benefit of the public sector. In addition to Terwilliger, members of the 2019 Larson Award jury were Tamara Dudukovich, vice president and director of development, Catalyst Communities; Alan George, executive vice president and chief investment officer, Equity Residential; Lisa Gordon, president and chief executive officer, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity; Linda Mandolini, president, Eden Housing; and Margaret Wylde, chief executive officer, Pro Matura Group.—J.A. UL

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INSIDE THE

uli foundation

Support Is Vital for Expanded Technology Research

Ricardo Alvarez Diaz, copresident of ULI Puerto Rico, makes a presentation during a ULI Advisory Services panel on resilience in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.

We Have 12 Years to Limit Climate Change Catastrophe, Warns U.N.: Urgent Changes Needed to Cut Risk of Extreme Heat, Drought, Floods, and Poverty —Guardian, October 8, 2018 Gone in a Generation: Across America, Climate Change Is Already Disrupting Lives —Washington Post, January 29, 2019 Global Warming “Threatens Human Civilization” —Asia Times, June 5, 2019 A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises —New York Times, August 6, 2019 Increasingly, news outlets worldwide proclaim the devastating effects of the impending climate change crisis. Whether from rising sea levels or heat waves, storm surges or droughts, the built environment faces previously unheard-of threats to the health, viability, and economic vitality of the world’s cities. Cities must become more resilient in the face of these risks, and tomorrow’s technology can help in the achievement of climate mitigation and adaptation—better, faster, and stronger. Through philanthropic partnerships with individual members, corporations, organizations, and other visionary donors, the ULI Foundation (ULIF) provides Institute members and cities with the research, knowledge, and tools to meet these advancing challenges on a global scale and effect the lasting change that is so urgently required.

More than half the world’s population lives in cities, and that number is expected to reach 68 percent by 2050, according to a 2018 United Nations study. In the face of such rapid urbanization, cities face increasingly complex challenges in regard to resilience. With an estimated $1 trillion in building value concentrated in cities at high risk for extreme weather events, the problems—and potential solutions—are in our cities. Leveraging technology will be key to the discovery and implementation of meaningful solutions. ULI already provides resources through programs like Advisory Services panels and convenings such as the Resilient Cities Summit, an annual event for city officials cohosted with the National League of Cities and the U.S. Green Building Council. Investment in ULIF ensures that the industry’s top minds can continue to investigate best practices—and that city leaders worldwide can have access to these tools in order to collaborate on executing solutions. Through rapidly expanding advances in property technology (proptech), real estate developers can work toward market transformation on climate change. New systems can monitor real-time energy and water use on a single

building or remotely make adjustments on hundreds of buildings before a problem develops. New climate modeling software helps real estate developers and capital markets assess and price the risk of future extreme weather events, sea level rise, and other chronic climate risks, including extreme heat. These are just two examples of how future technology has the potential to influence energy and environmental performance, as well as project design and development strategy, on a magnitude previously unimaginable. Thoughtful, action-oriented use of new technologies will “move the needle on resilience and sustainability,” says Billy Grayson, executive director of the Institute’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance. Key to achieving this goal is a more advanced plan of discovery and action in identifying, understanding, and managing risk. ULI’s current research advances global best practices in resilience, but there is much more to do. Reports such as 2019’s Climate Risk and Real Estate Investment Decision-Making, produced by ULI in partnership with global real estate investment firm Heitman, provide a blueprint for climate change assessment and mitigation. Philanthropic sup-

port of these knowledge-finding efforts—as well as access to information and education—is vital and ensures that the Institute can expand, strengthen, and adequately support its world-class programs. “Understanding and mitigating climate risk is a complex and evolving challenge,” says ULI Global Chief Executive Officer W. Edward Walter, “becoming the new normal for our industry.” Cities must build for resilience in order to stay competitive and hardy. ULIF-funded research provides members and cities with the tools to help their communities survive and thrive. ULI’s mission is more relevant than ever. Along with our members and partners, the Institute’s dedicated research and development efforts tackle the challenges in understanding and managing climate risk. The technology of the future will help explore and create better, lasting solutions for resilient infrastructure. ULI is uniquely positioned to achieve global impact in this area. Climate risk to our cities presents an opportunity to leverage the power of philanthropy with new investments in the ULI Foundation—from our members, corporate partners, and grant makers—resources that will enable the Institute to research and evaluate these emergent technologies and their impact on a changing world. For more information on how you can help, visit foundation.uli.org. UL HELENE KISER is vice president of

advancement communications for the ULI Foundation.

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ulx

RON NYREN

Smart Buildings Ten buildings make use of intelligent technologies to enhance the tenant experience, save energy and other resources, and gather data to help with building operations.

Smart buildings are buildings in motion. In some cases, that motion is literal, as windows open or blinds lower automatically. In a larger sense, however, intelligent technologies allow office towers, hotels, residences, and other building types to adjust and adapt—in real time—to their environment, their occupants, and other conditions in a way that more conventional structures cannot. The data

that sensors gather and analyze also help operations staff make better decisions and have a ripple effect on the design of subsequent developments. The following 10 projects—all completed during the past five years—incorporate building automation and data gathering. They include office towers with glazed facades that change in response to the sun’s position, a hotel that

gives guests easy control over their room’s ambience, a net-zero-energy headquarters with a “sundial” that metaphorically conveys the building’s energy consumption, and a condominium complex that recognizes residents and unlocks doors for them. R O N N Y R E N is a freelance architecture and urban design writer based in the San Francisco Bay area.

1. 100 Mount Street SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA

building—collects and displays information and live data about the tower to assist with maintenance and operations. A mobile app allows employees and visitors to enter the building. Completed in 2019 for the local office of Dexus Property Group, 100 Mount Street has an external structural brace to the east that allows for uninterrupted views and flexible floor plates. The Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was the design and structural architect, with the local office of Architectus as architect of record.

©BRETT BOARDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY

The 35-story office tower at 100 Mount Street has an exterior that is literally animated: a closed cavity within the glass facade contains motorized venetian blinds that open and close automatically depending on the position of the sun, reducing solar heat gain and glare while preserving views. Chilled beam systems further cut energy costs. The high-rise also provides connectivity for IoT (internet of things) devices. A “digital twin”—a three-dimensional virtual replica of the

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2. 151 North Franklin CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

STEVE HALL

STEVE HALL

In the Chicago Loop, the 35-story office tower at 151 North Franklin Avenue relies on an IoT platform that allows occupants to use an app to gain access to amenities, reserve parking spaces, and access information about the building and nearby transit options. They can control temperature and lighting, monitor their energy consumption, set up access to the building for visitors, and receive an email when each

guest arrives. The building’s floor-by-floor mechanical systems give tenants more control over their environment than would a conventional high-rise. To keep electricity use down, the building’s primary cooling comes from a district energy source that relies on a low-temperature chilled water system. Owned by the John Buck Company, a local developer, 151 North Franklin was completed in 2018. Chicago-based John Ronan Architects was design architect and interior designer, and Adamson Associates of Chicago and Toronto was the architect of record.

3. Barrack Place

©BRETT BOARDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Barrack Place looks to both the past and the future. The local office of Architectus equipped the podium of this contemporary glazed 18-story tower with punched windows, black steel detailing, and brick cladding in a nod to the site’s industrial warehouse heritage. At ground level, a network of lanes lined with shops provides through-block passage, following the fine grain of traditional streets. Inside, the building incorporates multiple intelligent technologies. Employees use smartphones to access the building and its elevators.

All building light fixtures rely on a digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) protocol, enabling software to control lights, individually and in groups, as needed. Leak detection software monitors the building’s water system. A digital twin collects real-time data from sensors throughout the building and tracks how occupants are using the spaces. Completed in 2019 for the local Investa Office Fund, Barrack Place is steps from a new light-rail station and includes bicycle racks and showers, as well as lockers that employees can access via smartphone.

©BRETT BOARDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA

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ulx 4. Bloomberg Center at Cornell Tech NEW YORK, NEW YORK

To further cut energy consumption, the Bloomberg Center’s smart building technology uses occupancy sensors to monitor and control the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The system tracks data on the consumption of electricity, domestic water, hot water, and chilled water, as well as data from the geothermal, photovoltaic, and rainwater harvesting systems. Faculty, students, and other researchers can access the data for use as teaching tools. Designed by the local office of Morphosis Architects, the facility opened in 2017.

M AT T H E W C A R B O N E

M AT T H E W C A R B O N E

The Bloomberg Center serves as academic headquarters for Cornell Tech, a new technology, business, law, and design campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. To help the city reach its ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the four-story building is targeting net zero energy, with 40,000 square feet (3,700 sq m) of photovoltaic panels shading the roof, an extensive closed-loop geothermal well system, and a high-performance building envelope. A rainwater harvesting system meets 60 percent of the building’s nonpotable water needs and supplies most of the property's landscape irrigation.

5. citizenM New York Bowery Hotel NEW YORK, NEW YORK

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CITIZENM

CITIZENM

The Amsterdam-based citizenM hotel chain allows guests to check in online or at a self-check-in kiosk in the lobby. Guests also can control various aspects of their room’s environment using a tablet, dubbed the MoodPad. At citizenM Bowery, for example, a 21-story hotel that opened in New York City in 2018, guests can use the touchscreen to turn lights on and off or change their color, adjust room temperature, play music, operate the television, set wakeup alarms, open and close the blinds and curtains, and choose from different pre-set “mood” settings designed for relaxing, entertaining, and other common activities. The MoodPad retains guests’ preferred settings and applies them the next time they check in at a citizenM hotel. The hotel chain also relies on modular construction technology to build most of its hotels. For citizenM Bowery, 210 prefabricated and mostly furnished guest room modules were stacked on site. The hotel was designed by Amsterdam-based Concrete with the local architecture firm Stephen B. Jacobs Group as executive architect.

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7. Ten York

SAN FRANCISCO

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA

The tallest building in San Francisco, Salesforce Tower puts tech on display with its public art installation by local artist Jim Campbell: on the exterior of the top six floors, 11,000 LED lights display moving color imagery drawn each day from cameras scattered throughout the city. Designed by the New Haven, Connecticut, office of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for the local offices of Boston Properties and Hines, the building also makes use of a “converged network”: the building operations team can use the same network infrastructure as the telecommunication and data networks to control lighting, heating, air conditioning, and other aspects of the facility, as well as to gather data

When residents and registered guests of the 725 condominiums at Ten York drive into the parking garage, license plate–recognition software opens gates automatically. To enter their units, residents punch in an access code rather than hunt for their keys; if they approach a common-area door, a smartphone app automatically unlocks it via Bluetooth. They can use the same app—or their unit’s tablet-style wall pad—to change the temperature, set the security alarm, talk by video with the concierge or arriving visitors, and monitor camera views of select common areas. An automated smart locker system alerts residents when a package arrives. Completed in 2018, the glassclad building derives its triangular form from the three-sided site it occupies. Its slender profile maintains views for buildings to the north and south. Local firm Wallman Architects designed the 67-story highrise for local developer Tridel. RICHARD SECK

JASON O’REAR

6. Salesforce Tower

on energy and water use. Other energy-saving and sustainability measures include integrated metal sunshades, high-performance glazing, a rainwater collection system, a blackwater recycling system that treats and filters on-site water for nonpotable uses, and floor-by-floor air handlers that facilitate natural ventilation. Completed in 2018, the building has a visitor information system that assists with managing visitors.

8. Unisphere

HALKIN/MASON PHOTOGRAPHY LLC

On the atrium wall at the headquarters for biotech company Unisphere, a sundial-like circle of mirrored light fixtures offers a live data visualization of the building’s energy use. When the building uses more energy than it produces, the light reflects inward; when it uses less energy than it generates, the light reflects outward. A large fourth-floor energy dashboard wall gives specific real-time data on the building’s 3,000 photovoltaic panels, heating and cooling systems, electricity use, and other aspects that make it a net-zero-energy building.

HALKIN/MASON PHOTOGRAPHY LLC

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND

The six-story structure includes triple-glazed low-emissivity electrochromic awning windows that automatically darken or lighten in response to the amount of daylight. Operable windows beneath raised access floors and above the atrium’s ceiling open themselves when the weather is appropriate. A concrete labyrinth underneath the building helps moderate atrium temperatures. The building’s automation system adjusts lighting and mechanical systems depending on whether spaces are occupied and lowers artificial lighting levels when daylight is strong. EwingCole of Philadelphia designed the facility, which was completed in 2018.

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UL

ulx 9. White Collar Factory

SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS

When risk management and commercial insurance provider Zurich North America outgrew its longtime headquarters in Schaumburg, the company surveyed employees about what they wanted in a new one. They expressed a strong interest in natural light. So Chicago-based Goettsch Partners configured the new headquarters as three narrow glazed bars, stacked and offset from each other, rising a total of 11 stories. Because the building has floor-to-ceiling glazing, the next challenge was to manage the daylight effectively. An integrated lighting control and shade system relies on rooftop daylight sensors to monitor the amount of sunlight, raising and lowering motorized shades to mitigate solar heat gain and glare. Touchpads and wireless controls allow building operators to manually adjust lighting and shading. Occupancy sensors turn lights off when they are not needed. Horizontal sunshades on the exterior vary in depth depending on their orientation to solar exposure. A year after the headquarters opened in 2016, the company found that water and electricity consumption was 30 percent lower than it had been in the company’s old location. UL

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© J A M E S S T E I N K A M P P H O T O G R A P H Y, C O U R T E S Y G O E T T S C H PA R T N E R S

10. Zurich North America Headquarters

Developer Derwent London built its reputation on renovating 19th-century factory buildings and warehouses for office use. In creating new speculative office space on Old Street in central London, Derwent asked local architecture firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris to draw on the design principles that gave these industrial structures their longevity and their energy-saving attributes. A yearlong test of a small working prototype on site informed the design of the 16-story office tower at the heart of the White Collar Factory complex. Completed in 2017, the building has long spans, high ceilings, a concrete structure, and operable windows. A digital “traffic light” gives workers a green light when outdoor temperatures are right for opening windows; in turn, when windows are opened, the mechanical ventilation system shuts off. Chilled water cools the radiant concrete slab, and large white perforated exterior metal panels offer shade. The building management system links to an app giving tenants real-time data on the facility’s environmental performance.

© J A M E S S T E I N K A M P P H O T O G R A P H Y, C O U R T E S Y G O E T T S C H PA R T N E R S

©TIM SOAR

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

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Real projects start with the industry standard Before the project broke ground, Earl Swensson Associates, made sure The Gaillard Center, a world-class multipurpose theater, was protected with AIA contracts. AIA Contract Documents used: A133-Owner/CMc-Cost Plus Fee w/ GMP, A201-General Conditions, B103-Owner/Architect-Complex Project, C401-Architect/Consultant, E201-Digital Data Protocol Exhibit.

© J A M E S S T E I N K A M P P H O T O G R A P H Y, C O U R T E S Y G O E T T S C H PA R T N E R S

© J A M E S S T E I N K A M P P H O T O G R A P H Y, C O U R T E S Y G O E T T S C H PA R T N E R S

Learn more about The Gaillard Center project at aiacontracts.org/gaillard-uli

©Steve Hall @ Hedrich Blessing Photographers

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How will emerging technologies shape cities?

©TEOH CHIN LEONG /123RF

Driven by D

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Outlook for

PropertyTechnology RON NYREN

How are technologies reshaping the landscape for developers, investors, and tenants?

Members of ULI’s new technology product councils in Asia Pacific and Europe join members of the Technology and Real Estate Council in the Americas to share their thoughts

R O N N Y R E N is a freelance architecture and urban planning writer based in the San Francisco Bay area.

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ŠBENJAWAN SITTIDECH/123RF

on questions related to proptech.

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y

Outlook for Property Technology

AMERICAS Members of ULI’s Technology and Real Estate Council discuss the value of property technologies for real estate developers and investors—technologies that offer the most for building tenants, ways of sorting out the hype surrounding property technologies, promising technologies still in the process of being realized, and other related trends.

What property technology innovations and solutions do you think offer the best value for real estate developers and investors? When we talk about value, for me, it’s an issue of payback. Do you get an attractive payback for your investment? In today’s market, it’s mostly the smart-building systems that are paying off very well in terms of ROI [return on investment], optimizing energy and water use, controlling temperature, sensing when people are occupying spaces, and turning lights on or off.

RANDY ROWE:

We are always looking for technology that will help reduce complexity and friction between developers and operators and their customers. Camber Creek has invested in Latch, a smart lock and access control company for multifamily buildings. Their locks can be opened with a key card, a code, or a smartphone app. By creating a hardware product that works with the real estate industry, Latch was able to reduce friction for building managers and their tenants. Another company we’ve invested in, Rabbet, simplifies the construction draw process for banks and construction companies. Typically, after the initial upfront money is released, the process of drawing the additional capital can sometimes take weeks, if not months. Rabbet’s cloud-based product allows for draws to happen significantly faster.

JAKE FINGERT:

In response to the blackout across the Northeast in 2003, Con Edison reached out to Rudin Management Company with a 45-second warning of eminent power outage. They wanted to give companies like us early warning—

JOHN GILBERT III:

at least 30 seconds. We didn’t have a tool that could take exterior data feeds and have our control systems act on them. And we needed a single integrated platform that would let us see all the data collected by our buildings individually, on a floorby-floor basis. We couldn’t find such a platform, so we built it. It’s called Nantum, and it is a “brain” for our buildings. It is saving us roughly 55 cents per square foot, which across our 10 million-square-foot [929,000 sq m] portfolio is $5.5 million a year. We also have invested in companies like VTS, an online leasing and asset management platform for commercial real estate; Nestio, which does the same for residential leasing; and Honest Buildings, an online platform for project management and procurement.

What technologies are doing the most to provide benefits to tenants (whether they are office, retail, or residential tenants), and what is the best way to deploy those technologies? TERRY ANDERSON: A lot of smart-home technologies have become available, especially for apartments. Amazon and Google are trying to scale up in that area. These products include smart thermostats, smart lights, ways to turn appliances on and off remotely—the “internet of things.” I’ve seen more tenant-facing technologies on the residential side than on the commercial side.

We can share with tenants the data that we collect using Nantum. For example, we are working closely with one of our tenants, BlackRock, to provide them with granular data on the 16 floors they lease from us on 52nd Street. The data we’re providing them allows them to benchmark how they have decreased their carbon footprint, which helps them save money and allows them to retain existing employees and attract new talent. Also, we are launching what we call Nantum Tenant Experience at our Dock 72 office building in Brooklyn. It’s a tenant experience app that will allow any person working there to have access to an enormous

GILBERT:

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Contributing their insights:

Terry Anderson

COPRESIDENT AND COFOUNDER, PLATFORM VENTURES, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI; MEMBER, TECHNOLOGY AND REAL ESTATE COUNCIL

Jake Fingert

GENERAL PARTNER, CAMBER CREEK, ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND; MEMBER, TECHNOLOGY AND REAL ESTATE COUNCIL

John Gilbert III

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, RUDIN MANAGEMENT COMPANY, NEW YORK CITY; MEMBER, TECHNOLOGY AND REAL ESTATE COUNCIL

Randy Rowe

CHAIRMAN, GREEN COURTE PARTNERS, CHICAGO; MEMBER AND FORMER CHAIR, TECHNOLOGY AND REAL ESTATE COUNCIL

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“And can we get these new technologies to scale up enough affordable price point? I think we will see more modular —RANDY ROWE, GREEN COURTE PARTNERS

amount of data, and will help them organize guests, book rooms, and order food. FINGERT: One of the big trends is in the use of technologies to provide tenants with better amenities. Companies like WeWork and Knotel have been doing this. We have recently invested in TFLiving, which is like an Uber for building owners to offer amenities. TFLiving provides tenants with ondemand access to yoga classes, walking services, personal trainers, even cooking classes. On the back end, the company’s technology provides valuable insight to building owners and operators, including data on which services tenants use and when. For example, if a tenant is signing up for yoga classes every week and their lease is up for renewal, you might be able to offer them two months of free yoga classes upon renewal as an incentive.

Are technologies being hyped that you view skeptically? Or what kinds of red flags should developers and investors considering new property technologies watch out for? There are a lot of people with interesting ideas. When we consider technology solutions, we first push hard to define the value proposition and the ROI. That allows us to understand which technologies are nice to have versus need to have. The second step is to do research into the implementation process. Some solutions might claim to have a compelling ROI, but they take six months and many man- or woman-hours to implement, and require the leasing team to change the way they work completely. Once you consider the hidden costs of implementation, the value proposition isn’t always as compelling.

FINGERT:

I would be wary of any technology company that starts talking about collecting data from your building. Property owners have to be very clear that there is only one owner of that data, and that is the building owner. The owner took the risk, bought

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the land, spent a lot of money on leasing commissions, and should own any data that comes from the building. I’m intrigued by the proliferation of scooters in cities. They may be the answer to the “last mile” gap connecting people from transit stops to their homes. But they have also caused a lot of clutter on streets, and I’m not sure how safe they are. Cities are struggling to deal with them. There are debates about whether they should be in the bicycle lanes or on the sidewalk. I’m concerned we’ll see an increase in injuries as usage grows. So even though they are inexpensive and provide mobility, particularly for younger people, I’m not convinced that the risk/ reward ratio and the payoff are worth it. And I’m also concerned about whether TNCs [transportation network companies] like Uber and Lyft will only lead to more traffic congestion. Cities like New York City are reviewing their regulation of TNCs for this reason. Even when TNCs start using autonomous vehicles, which will be more cost-effective than human drivers, there will be the challenges of how to nest the vehicles and how to stage them.

ROWE:

ANDERSON: I’m skeptical of cryptocurrency and coin-based offerings for real estate as an alternative to owning an interest in a building through a true security or a true private offering. There are groups out there that allow you to trade cryptocurrency coins the way you would trade money, but real estate shouldn’t be tradeable that easily. It seems ripe for fraud. Real estate should be viewed as more of a long-term asset.

What property technology would you most like to see realized in the future? Now that we have the ability to gather data from our buildings, the next step is to use it to optimize all our building systems. As more communities create carbon caps, where property owners could face fines if they fail to cut their carbon emissions, everyone needs to run their buildings as

GILBERT:

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s s


h

Outlook for Property Technology so they reduce costs and allow us to create buildings at a more solutions, but it’s still early.”

efficiently as possible. The more we can collect data at a very granular level and use it to enhance the efficiency of our buildings’ fans, motors, pumps, etc., the better.

What other trends in property technologies do you think more developers and investors should be aware of?

FINGERT: Real estate transactions are incredibly complex processes, with a lot of stakeholders— appraisers, title companies, insurance companies, banks, buyers, sellers, agents, brokers. A number of technology companies are starting to streamline those processes, such as Bowery Valuation, which streamlines the appraisal process, and Notarize, which is doing the same for the notarization process. More companies will start chipping away at these antiquated ways of making transactions happen and provide a more seamless, digital transaction experience.

ANDERSON:

ROWE: I’m sure we’ll see more progress on different construction technologies. There was significant interest about two years ago because some new players emerged who were very well funded. Whether it’s panelized construction or light steel construction or modular construction or new materials like light concrete, the question is, can we deal with the regulatory issues of different municipalities? And can we get these new technologies to scale up enough so they reduce costs and allow us to create buildings at a more affordable price point? I think we will see more modular solutions, but it’s still early. ANDERSON: Modular building and new technologyenabled construction businesses promise to shorten the construction cycle. I think those will be powerful over the next 15 to 20 years as construction costs continue to rise. And on the investment and asset management side, machine learning will be powerful as well. If you have a portfolio of assets, there is so much data available from property management and accounting systems, but there hasn’t been a good overlay from an asset management perspective to analyze that data and pick up trends. Machine learning will be a big help in pulling data and analyzing it.

Virtual reality has become highly advanced. It’s going to be very useful in allowing potential tenants to view an apartment or a home without having to walk through it physically. You can see paint colors, tile selections, and kitchen layouts, all in high-quality 3-D.

The concept of a single integrated platform for operating buildings is catching on. You don’t want your building operators and engineers to be looking at multiple screens. As property owners, we all hear that data is the new oil. That may be true, but it’s crude oil. What’s really important is the software that you use to refine that oil, and whether or not it delivers products that save money and enhance the experience of your customers.

GILBERT:

FINGERT: One trend we are excited about is related to space arbitrage—making better use of existing space to get more value out of assets. A great example is Airbnb, making use of excess capacity in the rental market. We are also investing in WhyHotel, which operates pop-up hotels in new 200-plus-unit luxury rental apartment buildings, giving the building owner additional revenue during the time they are leasing up new units. ROWE: We’re in the middle of a massive AI [artificial intelligence] revolution, and the real estate industry is significantly behind most other industries. Part of that is because the industry hasn’t gathered data in a way that’s easily consumed by AI. I think more big-data solutions will come to all aspects of our business. UL

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ASIA PACIFIC Members of ULI’s Asia Pacific Tech Council discuss the new council’s areas of focus, the interface between technology startups and the real estate industry, the challenges of incorporating rapidly evolving technologies, the promise of big data, and related trends.

What issues will the new council be exploring? Phil Kim

MANAGING DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC, JERDE, HONG KONG; FOUNDING MEMBER, ASIA PACIFIC TECH COUNCIL

Ariel Shtarkman

FOUNDER, ORCA CAPITAL, HONG KONG; FOUNDING MEMBER, ASIA PACIFIC TECH COUNCIL

James Wong

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HON KWOK LAND INVESTMENT COMPANY LTD., HONG KONG; FOUNDING MEMBER, ASIA PACIFIC TECH COUNCIL

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The idea is for the council to serve as a platform for real estate practitioners from around the industry to share ideas on technological innovations in real estate, whether to innovate from within or invest in technology startups, and whether we include additional services in our property offerings. We want to be a springboard for Asian startup technology companies or startups from the United States or Europe that want to come into the Asian market. We want to be the first place they come to pitch their ideas.

ARIEL SHTARKMAN:

PHIL KIM: The goal is to get smart about the immersion of technology in our slow-moving industries—property development and construction—in a young, adaptive society where people have adopted mobile phones and technology faster than any other region. Four areas in particular come to mind. The first is efficient transactions, including searching for properties, making an offer, buying, selling, obtaining credit and insurance, and closing escrow. The second is making the building process more efficient. There are a thousand parties involved in the building process, from construction to procurement of materials, each with its own system that isn’t connected systemically. The third is enhancing operations, which includes everything from [smart thermostats like] Nest to intelligent building systems. We’re talking about being able to operate the building as if the building talks to you, rather than being a fixed artifact controlled by buttons and levers. And the fourth is about making buildings and property better able to sustainably adapt over time.

We are still exploring the topics we want to focus on. But three drivers compelled us to form the council: 5G, drones, and biometrics. Particularly in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, property developers and property managers are being pitched these technologies all the time. For example, drone manufacturers are talking about using drones to make product deliveries, which is simpler to do here in Hong Kong than in the rest of China because of the population densities. Everybody lives vertically here, so it’s easier for drones to hop from building to building. Some technology companies are asking us, when you create a new building, where will the delivery drop-off box be—in front of the lobby or in a sort of Harry Potter– style “owlery” near the top of the building? Also, in Asia there are fewer concerns about privacy than in the West because we live in very crowded environments, so culturally and socially, privacy is less of a concern. As a result, the adoption of biometrics is faster here— so fast that I have a 75-story building that opened less than 12 months ago, and it’s been through three generations of facial recognition software so far. JAMES WONG:

What helps or hinders technology startups and real estate companies in understanding and working with each other? KIM: In Asia, fewer dominant companies control a vast majority of properties. Large property companies have fixed advantages [and] can resist the changes that are coming. Yesterday, I was talking to a startup in Hong Kong that has an app that lets property owners rent hotel rooms or offices more efficiently—by the minute, if required. A large, dominant property owner can use traditional sales and marketing tools rather than give up control over those to a startup like this one.

© TA M PAT R A / I S T O C K . C O M

Contributing their insights:

SHTARKMAN: I’m a major investor in several property technology startups at the moment, and I’ve come to see a disconnect. There are amazing tech-

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© TA M PAT R A / I S T O C K . C O M

Outlook for Property Technology

nologies created by startups to solve a particular challenge for real estate companies, but these startups don’t necessarily know what running the real estate business is about. Until recently, real estate developers and property owners didn’t need any

innovation to continue having healthy returns. So a technology may be great, but startups don’t necessarily understand how to market it to the real estate community. And real estate companies have to figure out how to calculate the value of a proposed TECHNOLOGY 2019

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“A lot of times, the solution that was created six months ago is —ARIEL SHTARKMAN, ORCA CAPITAL

technology very quickly. How will this particular technology improve my bottom line?

What else might stand in the way of the real estate industry adopting technologies? Part of my businesses is also in construction, and the construction industry is especially conservative about adopting new technologies. For example, take building information modeling: if the government didn’t force us to use it, we’d never adopt it.

WONG:

Real estate is an old-school industry, and so there is often resistance to innovation. A lot of property management processes can be automated in ways that deliver significant cost savings to the owners. However, the people employed in property management may have been with the company many years, and they might not be very familiar with using technology. If they are resistant to change, a new technology will not be successful. So real estate companies should be reeducating all of their employees about technology.

SHTARKMAN:

KIM: There is no dominant platform right now for real estate technologies, and people tend to trust brands they know. With the new startups, each property owner seeks out various technologies and experiments to bundle them correctly. The majority of real estate companies are heavily investigating and researching the innovation-driven startups. But the industry as a whole hasn’t pulled the trigger to make one of them the primary platform.

How can real estate developers keep up with the rapid pace of change in technology? SHTARKMAN: It is a challenge, because technology is moving very quickly. A lot of times, the solution that was created six months ago is now on version 3.0. So how do we keep track? And how do we

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make sure that the technology we have in a building and in our portfolio is up to date, without spending a disproportional amount of time on that? The good news is that the technology provider often covers the costs. In the case of our building that is now in its third generation of facial recognition software, our total cost was just the labor of putting it in and taking it out and the time to set it up. You can negotiate with the technology vendor to try the system on a trial basis or get an upgrade for free. The low cost of technology is making this a very interesting time to be an asset owner.

WONG:

What kinds of technologies do you wish more people in the industry were aware of? Building information modeling [BIM] is the industry standard, but it isn’t mandated 100 percent yet. It allows you to design in six dimensions—three spatial dimensions plus time/scheduling, cost, and operations—and digitally embed physical and functional attributes in the design. As you change those attributes, you’re instantly updating the information in the model. What’s exciting is that even after the project has been completed, BIM allows you to monitor every element of a building, tied into a technology platform where maintenance, operations, and energy can be very efficiently managed. We can even provide links to the sources for the materials and provide information about whether they are sustainable or handled in a sustainable way. It will allow us to stitch the entire cycle together much more tightly.

KIM:

WONG: Everyone is talking about 5G. The 5G transmitter’s range is shorter than 4G, so you need a lot more transmitters, but the tradeoff is you have fantastic downloading speeds. But 5G transmitters are the size of microwave ovens—they’re not something you can easily stick underneath a staircase. And there are two competing band-

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Outlook for Property Technology now on version 3.0. So how do we keep track?”

widths. The Americans favor the millimeter wave, and the rest of the world is using sub-6. So do I have to put two different kinds of transmitters throughout my building? Or do I adopt one over the other? I’m interested in anything to do with real estate as a service—anything that property owners and developers and investors can do to enable their buildings to add value to their tenants and to anyone who comes onto the premises. There is a whole category of services that have a physical component and a digital component, whether it’s streamlined food deliveries or storage or smart data and analysis in helping people make decisions.

SHTARKMAN:

How is big data useful for the real estate industry? WONG: There are interesting things happening with big data, but from a property developer point of view, we aren’t sure how to apply the data. Big data requires large data sets, and what we have in Hong Kong in terms of large data sets is financially related, and perhaps some that are demographic. If I want to use big data to figure out the best layout for a coworking space, however, or find out how often visitors come into a coworking space each day and how long they stay, that data is in private pockets that I can’t access. So big data is promising, but it is not at the stage yet where it is ready to use.

Everyone talks about big data, but in our industry, we’re still not sure what to make of it. Every owner of a building can collect huge amounts of data, whether about the operations of the buildings and how often particular devices operate, or how people move inside the building. The big question is, what do we do with that data? How do we mine it, and what does it offer to owners to improve the operation of the building and either increase rents or decrease costs? There are companies creating technology solutions for managing the building

SHTARKMAN:

in a more energy-efficient way, and that is one area that has an opportunity to capture the hearts and minds of real estate stakeholders.

What other trends do you see in the interface of tech and real estate? SHTARKMAN: I believe real estate companies will have to become technology companies, just as banks are. Take J.P. Morgan, for example, which offers traditional banking services. The biggest item on their expense list is technology. They innovate from within, they acquire robot financial advisers, and they are becoming a technology company. Most banking operations that used to be done at a bank can now be done online or using a smartphone app. But for the real estate industry, this kind of transition will require a big culture change. It will require establishing in-house technology teams with people who understand both technology and real estate. KIM: Buildings are designed to last 50 to 100 years. But in practice, they may last 30 years or less, and then are sold and rebuilt. In the future, the cycle will be even faster. There is so much change in users’ desires. Younger professionals aren’t thinking about working in a corporation for 30 or 40 years. The constant change in what they see and in the way they work means that traditional office providers have to offer more adaptable spaces. Instead of thinking about a building as a fixed asset, technologies allow us to change the uses and adapt. We may be creating buildings with prefabricated or cellular structures—well designed, well detailed, with good material choices that are sustainable—that can be stacked in different configurations for evolving uses that we cannot predict today. UL

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EUROPE Jan Duffhues

INNOVATION STRATEGIST, CITY OF AMSTERDAM; CO-CHAIR, EUROPE TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL

Roelof Opperman

PRINCIPAL, REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT TEAM, FIFTH WALL, LOS ANGELES; CO-CHAIR, EUROPE TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL

Cees van der Spek

PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND GLOBAL CORPORATE RELATIONS DIRECTOR, EDGE TECHNOLOGIES, AMSTERDAM; CO-CHAIR, EUROPE TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL

Members of ULI’s Europe Technology Council discuss the new council’s areas of focus, approaches to evaluating and implementing new technologies, ways to improve understanding between technology startups and the real estate industry, promising current and future technologies, and related trends.

What questions and issues will the Europe Technology Council be exploring? CEES VAN DER SPEK: The council will allow cities, investors, developers, academic and research institutions, architects, and other members of the real estate industry to discuss how technology will influence the built environment and how we can use technology as a tool to improve the places where we live and work. We’re also looking for opportunities to drive better decision-making in the real estate business. ROELOF OPPERMAN: From an innovation and technology perspective, Europe is two or three steps behind the United States because the technology ecosystems are at different points. But there is a burgeoning property technology ecosystem in Europe, so the idea is to expose members of the council to technologies, talk about tech problems, and figure out the low-hanging fruit. Themes that are likely to emerge: How can we use technology to repurpose obsolescent retail centers into new uses? How can we organize and use all the data available to us to and make better decisions for purchasing and divesting of assets? How can we make buying or leasing an apartment easier and less painful for consumers?

The council should address how data and data-driven technology can contribute to good urban planning and development, and how urban planners and other real estate industry members can work with data and data-driven technologies. There are so many opportunities for improving the built environment and making it more responsive,

JAN DUFFHUES:

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as well as increasing profits. But there are also possible threats: who owns the data, who is in charge of it, and how does it contribute to the public good?

What best practices should members of the real estate industry adopt in evaluating and implementing new technologies? First, if you’re serious, you have to bring in some kind of outside expertise. It’s tough for even the most massive asset management companies to do everything in house because they don’t have the talent pool: people don’t go to a real estate firm to work in technology. Second, you have to have executive-level or board-level commitment in any technology initiative. Third, you want to get quick wins and be focused. Don’t start with 10 different technology initiatives or try to integrate artificial intelligence into all your buildings. Start with one or two initiatives, figure out how to get quick wins—something simple like a tenant engagement application or using drones on your job site to make workers safer. And finally, you have to have a clearly articulated and thought-out tech strategy. How are you going to integrate innovation into your teams? It has to become part of the firm’s culture and vision.

OPPERMAN:

DUFFHUES: It all starts with sharing knowledge, not just between real estate developers, but also with research organizations and institutions. Data and technology bring us all into new territories. No one has the map. So let’s share knowledge: what technologies do you use, what type of data do you use, and how can you use it for your own good and for the public good? And it is important not to develop your own data ecosystem but to try to share as much of the knowledge as you can—to come together and create an industry standard that benefits us all. There isn’t always a natural tendency for tech companies to share what they’re doing. If you take Uber as an example, they have had awesome results, but there have also been some negative

©HOLLANDFOTO/ISTOCK.COM

Contributing their insights:

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I believe the players in our industry should be more open to technologies. In my experience, there is still some fear about using technology. One of the reasons is that users are concerned about their privacy. But technological innovation can help make buildings and

VAN DER SPEK:

The Edge, a smart, green building in Amsterdam.

ŠHOLLANDFOTO/ISTOCK.COM

consequences for cities. What does it mean for our taxi fleets? In real estate, there is an even bigger possibility for beneficial impacts on city life using data and technology in real estate and urban planning, but what we don’t need is for all this data to be controlled by one party.

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“Amazon is going to make houses; Microsoft is going to make We have to adapt or partner with them.” —CEES VAN DER SPEK, EDGE TECHNOLOGIES

cities much more sustainable and also enhance the well-being of people who use those buildings. When we created the Edge office building in Amsterdam, we partnered with Philips, who invented an LED lighting panel that used lowvoltage ethernet and could contain sensors that allow us to detect and control air quality, humidity, acoustics, and temperature. It saves energy, and users like it because they can adjust the lighting levels themselves. In addition, people perform better in a building where the carbon dioxide can be precisely controlled.

How could technology startups and real estate companies better communicate with each other and work with each other? DUFFHUES: For bigger companies, and certainly for governments, it’s essential to create room for experimentation and innovation. The municipality of Amsterdam has its own startup-in-residence program in which we train startups and act as a launching customer. The bigger investors, real estate owners, and developers should actively engage with startup companies and look for ways to integrate with them, use data in new ways, and experiment with financial models, because that’s where startups can bring new possibilities, new ways of making profits, and new ways of engaging the public.

Real estate companies can go to many proptech [property technology] events and find out which companies are the players and front-runners in the market. These events allow new startups to tell their story in five to 10 minutes, and you can see 20 or 25 of them within a few hours and get an idea of the trends in the market. Also, with every project we do, we always begin with a few pilot projects to see if the product or service really works. The risk is acceptable because the pilot projects are small. We also talk

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with students and universities; they will tell us about startups and new initiatives. At Fifth Wall, we have a portfolio management team whose sole goal is to integrate startup companies into our partners. Technology startups may have a good idea and good technical abilities but know nothing about real estate. So we translate what they’re doing to real estate, giving them templates to help them build a case study, working as connective tissue between the startup and the real estate firms. Many times the startup is in early stages, so we’ll start just by introducing them and their concepts to a real estate firm. And each real estate firm needs to understand its own risk tolerance for startups. Some are willing to experiment; others should wait until a startup has a few partnerships under its belt.

OPPERMAN:

What kinds of technologies do you wish more people in the industry were aware of? VAN DER SPEK: Many technologies, like face recognition, are still a bridge too far for the real estate industry. But a lot of simple technologies are available, such as sensors, which have decreased in price over the past three years by 70 percent. With simple sensors, we made a platform for the new Unilever headquarters in New Jersey that reduced the building’s energy consumption by about 50 percent. The sensors make it easier to immediately adjust all building systems, lowering the energy and water bills. The technology is not extremely expensive, and it can be installed in existing buildings.

There are great technologies for interactive design that allow architecture firms to engage a much larger number of customers, end users, and members of the public than before—for example, online tools that give everybody the power to make designs and see what they look like so you can explore far more options with far more

DUFFHUES:

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Outlook for Property Technology building technology; Google is going to organize smart cities.

people. I wish we all used this side of technology much more—governments, certainly, but also, why not real estate investors and developers, too?

What technology that is still in its early phase would you most like to see realized? The one I’m most excited about is modular technology. With it, we could build apartments and houses much more cheaply, more quickly, and better. I look forward to the time when we build homes like we’re building ships. All over the globe, one of the biggest pain points is housing affordability. It is an existential risk and the cause of a lot of social strife. The real estate industry is responsible for this, and we need to find the solution.

OPPERMAN:

AI, artificial intelligence, can help us create more thorough and designed processes with quicker feedbacks and more automated steps. It can make existing design practices more powerful and interactive, faster, and more efficient. That will be a great next step. And beyond that, I think we will see a merging of digital and physical technologies, which will allow buildings to be more flexible. Instead of having buildings be made of concrete and then finding out they might not work well, we could instead provide buildings as a service. They would be more adaptive, with responsive materials that could easily adjust to changing needs or conditions.

DUFFHUES:

In the Netherlands, many products are now provided as a service. I might buy light as a service rather than as a product, paying for the lumens rather than for a particular product. We also get a lot of data out of the buildings we have, but using the data is the most challenging thing. With machine learning, we can take the data we’ve gathered over a year and know, for example, what the occupancy of the building will be tomorrow, so we can manage the availability of meeting rooms, parking spaces, and workspaces. VAN DER SPEK:

What other trends do you see in the interface of technology and real estate? The permitting process is a key service that governments provide, but we’re often not delivering that service quickly enough to keep up with demand. If we could standardize permits and then apply data technology to review plans submitted in standard forms, we could streamline the process. If there is an exception, a government official could review it. If governments make data available and make their goals more explicit and the process more transparent, and if we could automate parts of the process, that would be much better.

DUFFHUES:

We’re seeing a number of our partners integrate smart tenant engagement applications. These are a great way for real estate owners to get started with technology. These are apps that allow you to use your smartphone to get into a building, order coffee, book a room, put in a maintenance request. I travel a lot, and I visit a lot of beautiful, stunning buildings with wonderful architecture. But when I walk in, it’s like I’m walking back in time. I have to go to the concierge desk. They have to look at my ID. I get a piece of paper, I have to scan it, I have to have the guard tell me what floor to go to. Even the airlines have figured out a way for me to check in online or through an app. Why can’t buildings do this? This technology is readily available.

OPPERMAN:

VAN DER SPEK: The larger technology companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are entering the real estate market. These companies have noticed that the real estate market is the largest industry in the world—larger than the automotive industry. Amazon is going to make houses; Microsoft is going to make building technology; Google is going to organize smart cities. We have to adapt or partner with them. UL

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CONNECT WITH THE WORLD OF REAL ESTATE

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The Smarter City PATRICK J. KIGER

In Toronto, Sidewalk Labs has sketched out an ambitious vision for a high-tech urban environment designed with human needs rather than technology in mind. Whether it will come to fruition remains unclear.

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10/16/19 2:20 PM


Technology The new neighborhood not only would be powered by renewable energy, but also would reuse its own excess heat. Compact apartments with space-saving furniture would fit within the budgets of residents with modest incomes. Public spaces equipped with heated sidewalks, tent-like retractable plastic-film covers, and wind-blocking structures would encourage people to look up from their electronic screens and go outside to interact, regardless of the season. Sidewalk Labs aims to invest C$1.3 billion (US$980 million) to develop the area, which would be the first phase of a larger redevelopment scheme it has proposed for Toronto’s eastern waterfront over the next two decades. But first the project must be approved by Waterfront Toronto, the government agency that controls the area, which agreed in 2017 to partner with Sidewalk Labs and allow it to offer a proposal.

The proposed 153-acre (62 ha) River District is an extension of Quayside and would house Google’s expanded Canadian headquarters.

B E Y E R B L I N D E R B E L L E , H E AT H E R W I C K S T U D I O

On what is now a 12-acre (5 ha) expanse of nondescript, mostly vacant former industrial land near downtown Toronto, Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet, aims to erect what could be a prototype for the urban neighborhood of the future. Quayside, as the area is called, would be a revolutionary rethinking of the urban environment to which people have become accustomed, designed to mitigate the various ills that cities face, from climate change and street congestion to the difficulty of finding affordable housing. To that end, the neighborhood’s cluster of highrise towers would be fashioned not from concrete and steel, but from factory-built components made of Canadian timber, with adjustable interior wall panels and lofts designed to allow spaces to be easily converted from one use or type of tenant to another. Its street network, built from easy-to-replace modular pavement, would feature heated bike lanes and “dynamic” curbs allowing passenger loading zones to be converted to public spaces during nonpeak times, and use smart traffic signals and electronic wayfinding beacons to enable pedestrians, cyclists, e-scooter users, and a fleet of on-demand autonomous vehicles to coexist safely and efficiently. E-commerce deliveries would be routed to their destinations through an underground tunnel system that would eliminate surface truck traffic.

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However, controversy has swirled around the project since its inception, in part due to public outcry over who would control the vast amounts of data the neighborhood’s electronic infrastructure would collect. Waterfront Toronto has voiced concerns about certain parts of the 1,524-page proposal that Sidewalk Labs released in June. As this article went to press, the company and its public-sector partner were approaching a mutually agreed-upon October 31 deadline to resolve some key differences, including the scale of the plan, construction of a new transit line to the area, and whether Sidewalk Labs itself would be allowed to function as lead developer. Provided that the two sides get past those points, the project still must go through a public feedback process and additional evaluation by experts, a process that would stretch into 2020. (Look for updates at urbanland.uli.org.) “We also felt it made sense to create a deadline (October 31) for the resolution of major outstanding issues before significant parts of that evaluation process commence,” Sidewalk Labs spokesperson Keerthana Rang explained in an email. “We’re certainly hopeful” of a resolution, Waterfront Toronto spokesman Andrew Tumilty says. But if all works out, proponents say Sidewalk Labs’ new neighborhood could become a laboratory for the sort of innovation that cities need to survive and thrive. “Like it or not, technology is arriving in all areas of our lives,” says Ken Greenberg, an internationally prominent Toronto planner and designer who has

worked as a consultant to Sidewalk Labs. “In cities, we have an enormous obligation to figure out where it’s useful and where it’s not. This is a great opportunity to really understand how it can be utilized appropriately. The Sidewalk project actually is not putting technology first. It’s putting the principles of good urbanism first and taking on issues that Toronto and many cities around the world are facing.”

The Wooden Metropolis One striking feature of Sidewalk Labs’ plan is its intention to build mixed-use towers from mass timber— wood beams and panels fashioned from laminated layers, engineered to be as strong and fire-resistant as concrete and steel, but without those conventional modern materials’ environmental downsides. Concrete and steel “are significant contributors to greenhouse emissions,” notes Jesse Shapins, a Harvard-trained architect and Sidewalk Labs director of public realm. “If you change the materials, you could impact the emissions.” Wood, in contrast, actually stores carbon rather than releases it, so its use would compensate for carbon emissions from other sources in the new neighborhood and help Sidewalk Labs’ new development achieve its ambitious goal of being “climate positive”—not only releasing zero emissions, but actually compensating for some of the carbon that the rest of the world spews into the air. “You’re tying up a lot of carbon, and if it’s sustainably harvested, it won’t harm the environment,” says Craig Applegath, an architect and urban designer who

B E Y E R B L I N D E R B E L L E , H E AT H E R W I C K S T U D I O

Quayside would occupy a 12-acre (5 ha) stretch of formerly industrial land near downtown Toronto.

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“There’s a tremendous misunderstanding that this is some sort of sci-fi, whiz-bang experiment. Instead, it’s actually a lot of solid thinking about how to make good urban places all coming together.” B E Y E R B L I N D E R B E L L E , H E AT H E R W I C K S T U D I O

—KEN GREENBERG, PLANNER AND DESIGNER the engineering necessary to develop new types of wood structures that are sufficiently strong. “A major consideration for tall timber towers [is the effect of] the lateral loads placed on these relatively lighter and less stiff structures,” says Evan Reidel, an associate in buildings innovation for Sidewalk Labs. “We are putting effort into developing a lateral-load resisting system—conducting studies to determine several viable options and taking one of those options, namely an external braced frame, to a more detailed level of design. We have

The plan envisions constructing all buildings from environmentally friendly mass timber drawn from Canadian sources.

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is acting chair of the leadership council of the Mass Timber Institute, a Canadian organization. Applegath also touts wood’s utility as a material for manufactured, modular construction. “Wood lends itself nicely to prefabrication,” he says. “You can make pieces of it in a way that you can assemble them rapidly on site. And it’s lighter than concrete, so it’s easier to work with it.” But building entirely with wood—and erecting buildings as tall as 30 stories—is no simple feat. To that end, Sidewalk Labs has had to invest in doing

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Pedestrian pathways, heated to keep them free of snow, are woven through the neighborhoods.

also been working on the layout of braces and the connection details.” In addition, to control costs and reduce construction time, Sidewalk Labs has developed a system that allows architects to design structures using various combinations of manufactured wooden building parts. “Mass timber construction can facilitate the use of modular assemblies since timber is easier to work with and lighter,” Reidel says. “Part of the host of innovations we’ve been working on is a modular kit of parts to facilitate the construction process, potentially cutting the construction time in half.” The kit includes both structural and nonstructural elements, including modular kitchens and bathrooms, and partition walls, he says. It would be the first time anyone has built an entire high-rise neighborhood from timber, and accomplishing that would require creating a whole new supply chain for materials. To that end, Sidewalk Labs would invest C$80 million (US$60.1 million) to create an Ontario factory that would process wood from Canadian forests to manufacture the building components.

How to Be Climate Positive Emily Kildow, associate director of sustainability at Sidewalk Labs, says the neighborhood’s energy efficiency efforts would start with the buildings themselves, which would include features such as highly insulated wall systems inspired by the global passive building movement. 50

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The community would benefit from an advanced power grid using solar energy and battery storage, coupled with intelligent schedulers that would guide energy demand, suggesting consumption reductions or deploying batteries to ensure that buildings operate at the most efficient level possible. It also would employ real-time energy pricing to help reduce the use of power during peak periods when the smart grid might have to draw electricity from conventional fossil fuel–powered plants to meet the demand. To augment the smart electricity grid, a thermal grid would provide stable heating and cooling yearround. “This districtwide thermal loop—similar to the district cooling systems common in Scandinavia and already in place in Toronto—moves heat from building to building so it doesn’t go to waste,” Kildow says. “Unlike previous generations of district thermal loops that run on fossil fuels, our design is powered entirely by carbon-free sources, like geothermal energy and sewage heat recovery.” Another part of the climate-positive strategy is to reduce greenhouse emissions from municipal waste produced by the neighborhood. Beneath Quayside’s streets, a pneumatic tube system would transport trash. “We are proposing a smart disposal chain that could dramatically improve recycling and composting rates from [a conventional system involving] garbage trucks and landfill waste,” Kildow says. “This system would include real-time feedback to improve waste sorting, ‘pay as you throw’ chutes that encourage households and businesses to

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reduce waste, underground vacuum tubes that help reduce contamination and centralize trash hauling, and connections to anaerobic digestion facilities.” Sidewalk Labs also aims to capture, reuse, and treat stormwater runoff from the neighborhood before it can contaminate Toronto’s Don River basin. “With digital sensor technology, we expect to demonstrate that green infrastructure works just as well—if not better—than the gray infrastructure it replaces,” Kildow says. “This is one of many ways Sidewalk Labs’ sustainability agenda can have ripple effects far beyond Quayside that preserve watersheds, manage waste, and lower carbon emissions.”

Streets Designed for Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Autonomous Vehicles As a remedy for urban congestion, the Sidewalk Labs plan envisions a technologically advanced street network designed to enable safe navigation by pedestrians, cyclists, and autonomous vehicles and capable of adapting to changing conditions and uses throughout the day. The neighborhood’s streets and sidewalks would be heated to keep them clear of snow during Toronto’s winters, and they would be constructed of modular pieces that can be easily detached and replaced when they wear out, eliminating broken surfaces that disrupt traffic flow. Extra-wide sidewalks would make it easier for pedestrians—and disabled users of wheelchairs and service animals—to get to their destinations, and a network of wayfinding beacons would transmit navigational information to mobile

“If I had to choose the single most interesting innovation, I would choose flexible housing—a key concept of our affordability-by-design strategy.” —ANNIE KOO, SIDEWALK LABS

phones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices to help people find their destinations. To facilitate two-wheeled transportation, Sidewalk Labs would emulate an idea already in use in Copenhagen, equipping its streets with LED strips to indicate “green waves”—routes along which traffic signals will be coordinated to allow cyclists to avoid being stopped by red lights, as long as they maintain a certain speed. The street system also is being designed to accommodate multiple transportation modes passing through the same space. Andrew Miller, associate director for mobility at Sidewalk Labs, describes a special “slow zone” in the Parliament Plaza area, which would restrict bicycles, cars, and light-rail vehicles to speeds that enhance pedestrian safety; street furniture and plantings would create buffer zones between different transportation modes. “They also, merely by their presence, signal to drivers and cyclists that they are in a shared environment, encouraging users of those modes to slow down and use the space better,” he says. Shapins says the neighborhood’s dynamic curbs would adapt to different uses in the course of a day. Space needed for dropping off passengers from autonomous vehicles in the morning and evening, for example, could morph into sidewalk café seating or family play spaces during the day. “Doing that requires a digital system that allows understanding of demand and predicts it, and physical systems that enable the street to shift between those uses,” he says. TECHNOLOGY 2019

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Affordable, Flexible, and Designed for Interaction Using timber and modular components such as kitchen and bathroom units could speed housing construction and reduce its cost, which would help keep housing affordable in the new neighborhood. Sidewalk Labs also intends to create flexible housing units—apartments with interior walls that can easily be reconfigured to expand or shrink the size of a dwelling depending on the occupants’ needs. Smaller units could be combined when a family has children, or a three-bedroom unit could be split up when a child leaves for college. “If I had to choose the single most interesting innovation, I would choose flexible housing—a key concept of our affordability-by-design strategy,” says Annie Koo, associate director of development. “Housing flexibility is something that historically has only been available to families that can afford largeenough space—for example, a single-family home that you can add on [to] or reconfigure space.” Similarly, the first- and second-floor commercial spaces in mixed-use buildings would be changeable. Sidewalk Labs has developed an adaptable design called stoa, modeled after the open markets of ancient Greece. These spaces would consist of stalls that could easily be combined or separated to accommodate either a single large tenant or an assortment of small retailers, service providers, or craftspeople. Because the walls can be reconfigured twice as fast as for a conventional renovation and at half the cost, landlords have the opportunity to experiment with shorter leasing periods. “Think about the ground floor as a flexible open space,” Shapins says. “It’s part of public space. It could be used for smaller, market-like stalls or a grocery store. Much shorter lease terms support local businesses and allow them to evolve over time. You’re not locked into one tenant type.” Sidewalk Labs’ plan also aims to make the neighborhood’s public spaces more inviting so residents would spend more of their leisure time outside, interacting with one another. To cope with the contrasts of Toronto’s climate, which range from hot summers to cold, windy winter days, the plan envisions an “outdoor com52

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fort system” that would use lightweight, retractable structures to ease the effects of the elements. The system would include building “raincoats”—adjustable awnings—that could be unfurled to protect pedestrians from rain, wind, or sun, and temporary structures called fanshells that could pop up in common areas. Lantern forests—groups of tall, narrow objects— could be clustered together on the ground or hung from buildings to reduce the wind-tunnel effect that develops in urban canyons. Many of these accoutrements would be fashioned from composite ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a lightweight plastic film that provides transparency without the weight of glass. “As digital technology has become more and more of our lives, the importance of face-to-face interaction is becoming even more important,” Shapins says. “We’re really focusing on the public spaces and the opportunities that they provide.” These innovations, along with the rest of Sidewalk Labs’ voluminous proposal, must obtain public-sector approval. But while local opponents are wary of giving a subsidiary of one of the world’s biggest companies too much control over a Toronto neighborhood, the project also has attracted support from some progressive activists. Kwame McKenzie, a physician and chief executive of Wellesley Institute, a Toronto public policy think tank focused on improving urban health, sees it as a novel opportunity to confront a host of challenges ranging from climate change to the shortage of affordable housing. “If we want to deal with the big problems, we’ve got to work out ways of working with industry and business to move things forward,” he says. Similarly, urbanist planner and designer Greenberg sees the Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto as a possible proving ground for ideas that could benefit cities across the world. “There’s a tremendous misunderstanding that this is some sort of sci-fi, whizbang experiment,” he says. “Instead, it’s actually a lot of solid thinking about how to make good urban places, all coming together.” UL PATRICK J. KIGER

is a Washington, D.C.–area journalist,

blogger, and author.

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PATRICK L. PHILLIPS

Big tech is taking its turn in the harsh spotlight. From invading our privacy to predatory monopolistic practices, the major technology companies have had a rough couple of years. Yet two of these firms, Amazon and Google—or more precisely, Google’s parent, Alphabet—have driven two of the most compelling urban stories of the past 24 months: Amazon, with its closely watched HQ2 selection process, and Google’s sister company, Sidewalk Labs, with its plan for Toronto’s waterfront. As the dust settles from HQ2, attention now can shift to Toronto, where Sidewalk recently unveiled its plan for Quayside.

Most neutral observers would agree that, as a general proposition, the actual progress of “smart cities” over the past decade has fallen well short of the hype. Yes, we have app-enabled scooters scattered about many cities, but with few exceptions—energy management in commercial buildings being perhaps the most prominent—the actual application of data-driven solutions to the challenges of designing and managing urban environments remains scarce. And during this same period, our collective faith in big tech to solve big problems has waned. In March 2017, Waterfront Toronto, an organization funded by the local, provincial, and federal governments, issued an unconventional request for proposals (RFP) to help develop Quayside, a 17-acre (7 ha) underused site along Lake Ontario. The agency sought “a unique partner, one with invention ingrained in its culture, which can

transform conventional business practices and help to establish a benchmark climatepositive approach that will lead the world in city building practices.” It envisioned a more or less conventional planning process, but also wanted significantly more, including the capacity to drive real, executable innovation and the capability of bringing major funding to the table. The ambitious vision would have challenged even the most experienced developers and consultants. Enter Sidewalk Labs. Founded in 2015, just as interest in smart cities began to take off, Google’s leaders tapped Dan Doctoroff—then president of Bloomberg LP, but fresh off managing the publicsector side of New York City’s Hudson Yards project—as Sidewalk’s CEO. In the short time since its founding, Sidewalk had launched a number of smaller-scale initiatives, including stylish kiosks in Manhattan that provided free internet

B E Y E R B L I N D E R B E L L E , H E AT H E R W I C K S T U D I O

Sidewalk Lays Out a Path to the Future in Toronto

Quayside is the first component of the ambitious plan.

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Sidewalk’s proposal was mind-blowing, not only in the scale and depth of its vision, but also in its financial commitment, including a promise to invest up to $50 million just to create a plan. access and other information. Interesting, but hardly game-changing. The company had also served as something of an incubator for new urban technologies, including innovative approaches to transportation planning and modeling. Importantly, Sidewalk had also assembled a nucleus of talented urban technologists, a team that would grow dramatically over the ensuing 24 months. In the Quayside RFP, Sidewalk saw a key opportunity for a demonstration project unbound by the conventions of traditional urban planning or real estate economics. This was something new: a chance to innovate at the urban scale, to develop, deploy, and measure the success of a web of new technologies in an actual neighborhood. Sidewalk’s proposal was mind-blowing, not only in the scale and depth of its vision, but also in its financial commitment, including a promise to invest up to $50 million just to create a plan. The commitment came with no promise of planning permissions, site control, development rights, or an expanded site. And Sidewalk delivered, undertaking what must be one of the most inclusive planning processes ever, a commitment to soliciting and incorporating public input that went far beyond the traditional public meetings and workshops. Emblematic of this effort was 307, a project-headquarters space in an old fish-processing facility near the Quayside site. Part communications hub, part neighborhood clubhouse, part design studio and lab, 307 even hosted a summer camp for budding urbanists. The firm’s talented team, fluent in both planning and tech, was augmented by leading designers and consultants from Canada and beyond. The result is no ordinary plan. Its four volumes and 1,500 pages envision, in many ways, an old-fashioned neighborhood: human scale, mixed use, with lots of ways to 54

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get around; streets safe for pedestrians; buildings that can be adapted to accommodate new uses over time; and residents at a range of income levels. In other ways, the plan offers clever new solutions, ranging from building “raincoats” that can be deployed during nasty weather to smart paving that uses digital technology to allocate and manage street space. Much of the innovation would be enabled and optimized by the collection of large amounts of data, and here is where the planning process got tricky. Skeptics pointed to the business model of Sidewalk’s sister company, Google, which, of course, provides incredibly valuable products to people free of charge; all we have to do is allow Google to monetize the data generated by people’s use of its products. Opponents of Sidewalk’s Quayside plan feared that this model would be applied at an urban scale, with ubiquitous sensors constantly capturing data that could in effect be sold or otherwise subject to misuse. Churning away in the background was a constant barrage of stories about how big tech was invading people’s privacy, threatening democracy, and basically ruining lives. Sidewalk and Waterfront Toronto, in the view of many, were slow to recognize the threat to the plan of being tarred with this brush. Some of Sidewalk’s early statements regarding data collection seemed to exacerbate the public concern. In Canada, privacy is taken quite seriously: there is even a provincial commissioner of privacy. In fact, Sidewalk hired a former commissioner—a champion of “privacy by design,” or of treating privacy as a fundamental component of a system—as a consultant to help develop a constructive response to the flap. (She later quit, claiming the privacy protections were insufficient.) Sidewalk’s business model also remained fairly opaque until late in the planning process. While this may have been

difficult to avoid given the unconventional nature of the plan and the still-uncertain implementation roles of Sidewalk and the government, the lack of clarity helped fuel the data-governance controversy. But the wraps are now off Sidewalk’s plan. The business model and the proposed role of the public sector, as well as the prospects for involvement by other developers, are clearly stated in the documents submitted by Sidewalk. The firm has committed to robust data safeguards and proposes to make money the old-fashioned way—by creating real estate value. The plan is now in the hands of Waterfront Toronto and will receive a thorough public vetting before the process moves forward. Reflecting the importance of scale to the successful implementation of many of its ideas, the plan has evolved to encompass a larger portion of Toronto’s waterfront. It also now includes such politically savvy moves as creating a new location for Google’s Canadian headquarters. The plan advances important connectivity goals and feels overall more reflective of the economic, social, and political realities it must face to be realized. It is incumbent on Toronto’s residents and political leaders to assess the plan on its merits, not on the kind of guilt by association that has dogged Sidewalk throughout the planning process. Sidewalk Labs did an extraordinary job. Whether its plan is implemented as envisioned or, more likely, it is adjusted to reflect changing social and economic conditions and emerging technologies, it shows us the clearest pathway yet to harnessing technology to help us create inclusive, adaptable, and sustainable communities. UL P A T R I C K L . P H I L L I P S , the former global chief executive officer of ULI, works with developers, planners, and nonprofit organizations to help build communities that thrive.

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Tomorrow’sTrans p PIE IN THE SKY?

The talk about futuristic transportation has been exciting, but reality may be more expensive— and farther off— than imagined.

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Ride-sharing giant Uber made headlines in June when it unveiled renderings of skyports in major cities around the world as part of its plan to develop the “world’s first aerial rideshare network.” A group of high-level architects, including Gensler, SHoP, and Pickard Chilton, presented their visions for facilities that would help travelers whiz around cities in eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft). Related Companies was announced as the “preferred development partner” for the enterprise, dubbed Uber Air, and showed off drawings for a prototype skyport, designed by Foster + Partners, in its 240-acre (97 ha) project in Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Throughout the industry, executives, planners, and designers were suddenly faced with a very real question: should we be preparing for an “aerial rideshare network”? Uber says it expects to hold flight demonstrations in Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth in 2020, with plans to make the system commercially

KEVIN BRASS

available in 2023. But who knows if it will happen—or if consumers will embrace the idea of flying Uber? On a seemingly daily basis, the industry is facing these types of fundamental questions as new concepts and technologies emerge, promising to transform transportation. From Uber Air and Hyperloop to swarms of hoverboards and scooters, planners and developers know mobility networks of the future will be much different from those of today, even if they have no idea which concepts will be fads and which will change the world. “There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty— more than we’ve ever had,” says Will Baumgardner, intelligent mobility leader with Arup. “There’s definitely a lot of changes on the horizon.” The challenge for the industry is to design projects and communities that will accommodate future modes of transportation. But how do you evaluate transportation concepts that might not exist today? Do you spend millions to prepare for new systems

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s port

that people may not embrace? How do you create infrastructure to support new ideas and more efficient networks, even if they may not become mass options for decades? Predicting the future can be an inexact science for developers, technologists, science fiction writers, and developers alike. Any vision of the future is vague at best. As a reminder, Blade Runner, with its world of dark neon skyscrapers and flying cars, was set in 2019.

Longer Timelines In a 2017 report on mobility, Deloitte Insights noted “surprising agreement” that a fundamental shift is taking place in transportation, but there are “two profoundly different visions about how this future could evolve.” On one hand, “insiders” believe mobility will progress in an orderly, linear fashion, and the fundamental structure will remain essentially intact, Deloitte reported. On the other hand, there are “disrupters” who believe the world is at a tipping point to a wildly different world that “offers great promise and potential societal benefits.”

C O U R T E S Y O F R E L AT E D - S K Y P O R T B Y F O S T E R + PA R T N E R S

C O U R T E S Y O F R E L AT E D - S K Y P O R T B Y F O S T E R + PA R T N E R S

Technology

Left and above: Renderings of a prototype Skyport for Uber Air, designed by Foster + Partners for a 240-acre (97 ha) site in Santa Clara, California.

They cannot both be right. And technology is not the only variable. Regulations, costs, safety concerns, and public acceptance could derail even the most efficient technologies. For evidence of the dangers of prognostication, the industry can point to autonomous vehicles, which most believe will fundamentally change transportation. But in recent months General Motors, Uber, and Google’s Waymo unit have acknowledged they do not expect to meet the industry’s original projections amid continued safety concerns and delays in perfecting the software. Many analysts now see 2040 to 2050 as a more reasonable time frame for the mass adoption of driverless vehicles, after years of predictions that the roads would be filled with driverless cars by 2025. If that is the case, it is not something that will affect plans for many current projects. If a technology is not going to be widely accepted for 30 years, “I don’t care [about it],” says Nitin Motwani, managing principal at Miami Worldcenter Associates, the group building the $4 billion, 27-acre (11 ha) Miami Worldcenter, now under construction in downtown Miami. “I could never convince my partners to do something that might be beneficial 30 years from now.” The Worldcenter will include links to the local Metromover and regional trains, but a lot has changed in transportation since Motwani’s group began planning the project more than a decade ago. “When we started, Uber didn’t exist,” Motwani says. TECHNOLOGY 2019

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“Whatever you think will happen will be partially right and partially wrong. So it just means you have to provide flexibility.” —NITIN MOTWANI, MIAMI WORLDCENTER ASSOCIATES

Infrastructure Change Most industry analysts have their own ideas about which technologies will take hold and what planners

MIAMI WORLDCENTER

The $4 billion, 27-acre (11 ha) Miami Worldcenter, now under construction in downtown Miami, will have links to current transit options, and the design incorporates flexible features such as curb cut-outs for shared-ride drop-offs and wide sidewalks that will accommodate bikes, pedestrians, and scooters.

But the design has evolved to include elements to accommodate the changing market. There are curb cut-outs for shared-ride drop-offs, plus wide sidewalks that will accommodate bikes, pedestrians, and scooters. “Whatever you think will happen will be partially right and partially wrong,” Motwani says. “So it just means you have to provide flexibility.” But while Motwani and his partners are taking a conservative approach to new technologies, one of their subdevelopers at Miami Worldcenter is taking the opposite tack. The Paramount Worldcenter, a 60-story residential tower in the complex, is advertising the “world’s first Jetsons-style Flying Cars Skyport,” part of its quest to become “America’s most heavily amenitized futuristic luxury residential tower.” Congested highways and inner-city gridlock will drive demand, developer Daniel Kodsi said in a statement. “We are just a few years away from the first flights,” he said. “This type of transportation is inevitable and we . . . want to remain ahead of the competition.”

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should emphasize in new projects. “What we have to do is filter out what we are confident about and recognize where the risks are,” says Baumgardner of Arup. He believes the uptake of electric vehicles is one trend that will continue at a rapid pace. Policy moves, support in other parts of the world, and zero-emission goals will drive the push, he believes. “Technology isn’t necessarily the primary driver of infrastructure change,” Baumgardner says. With so many factors in place, “electrification is going to continue to move forward.” Many planners are focusing on the last mile, trying to make the neighborhood connection between mass transit and local destinations. For Jeffrey Tumlin, director of strategy for Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates, a transportation-focused consultancy based in San Francisco, the key is to develop protected lanes to accommodate any form of personal transportation. “It doesn’t matter if it’s bikes or hoverboards in the future—they all have the same space requirements,” Tumlin says. He believes micro-mobility—anything from minibuses to scooters—will be the most important element for the next generation of planners. “Micromobility is the only set of new hardware technology that offers both convenience and efficiency,” Tumlin says. “There is a huge opportunity to retrofit suburbia to make it friendly for micro-mobility.” Any strategy that focuses on the replacement of roads and the elimination of cars in the near term will not succeed, no matter how cool it looks in movies, many planners agree. Trying to eliminate roads should not be the primary goal, says Federico Cassani, director of transportation and mobility for BuroHappold Engineering. “The most important thing is to minimize the commuting distance,” Cassani says. “Urban planning and mobility planning are two faces of the same coin.” At the same time, planners need to “start conceiving of the road as an interactive structure,” Cassani says, with streets supplied with wi-fi, charging facilities, and sensors to track and manage the

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MIAMI WORLDCENTER

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roads. Communities will need to decide if they want a “multiplication of different lanes, or completely shared surfaces managed by sensors and technology,” Cassani says. “This is a big question.” Planning for the future is not about trying to pick winners and losers in transportation technology, Cassani argues. It is about consumers’ choices. “If the user has multiple choices, it’s an easier city to live in,” he says. The real change of the future will not come from new vehicle technologies but from a focus on mobility as a service, many analysts agree. Travelers will be able to pull up an app, choose from the forms of transportation available, track its progress, and pay with their phone. Last year, Anaheim, California, launched an app-based, on-demand micro-transit system in the city’s central area using electric vehicles. “The idea of standing on the corner waiting for a bus that may or may not come in 20 minutes— that is over,” says Diane Kotler, executive director of Anaheim Resort Transportation. Trying to anticipate the timing of technology adoption is overrated, says David Bragg, managing director of Green Street Advisors, a real estate research

firm. It is much more important to focus on the direction of the industry, he contends. Instead of trying to predict the future, “developers should provide themselves with optionality,” Bragg says. “A lot of things you should do to prepare, you should do anyway.” Around the country, developers and planners are already addressing a wide variety of evolving transportation trends. Larger drop-off points for shared rides and bike lanes are now an accepted part of many projects, even though they still represent relatively small shares of overall traffic. Parking structures are being built smaller and adaptable to different uses in the future, recognizing that many communities are starting to reduce their parking requirements. “Flexibility is key,” says James Nozar, chief executive officer of Strategic Property Partners (SPP), developer of Water Street Tampa, a $3 billion waterfront project covering 50 acres (20 ha) in downtown Tampa. The first community to earn WELL certification from the International WELL Building Institute, Water Street has made wellness and walkability centerpieces of the design, including parking garages that can be repurposed as demand declines, fiber-optic conduit laid under the street, TECHNOLOGY 2019

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The Paramount Worldcenter, a 60-story luxury residential tower in Miami, is advertising the “world’s first Jetsons-style Flying Cars Skyport.”

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and wide sidewalks that accommodate a variety of uses. Flexible zones can be repurposed for things as varied as coffee kiosks and bicycle storage. “We set buildings back to create outdoor places, but also to futureproof for flexibility,” Nozar says. People are still going to drive, he believes; “it’s very hard to change people’s minds.” When it comes to the divergent perspectives of the future, Nozar clearly falls into the orderly evolution camp: “Taking baby steps is the best way,” he says. Any real change “starts at the comprehensive master plan level,” Nozar says. “It takes thoughtful vetting of the opportunities.” Any vetting of the future of transportation typically returns to the issue of money. “I think we’re talking very little about how we are going to finance transportation,” says Kotler of Anaheim Resort Transportation. There are many dramatic, Jetsonslevel ideas, “but how are we going to fund it?” she asks. It is not enough to simply approach the challenges project by project, she argues. “We need to look at the finance structure holistically.” Creating a wired mobility network with sensors embedded throughout the city is one of those oftdiscussed ideas that makes sense, but support for the concept often stalls when talk turns to who will pay for it. The idea of the sensor-equipped roads has “always been a little overblown, primarily because cities can’t afford to do it,” Baumgardner says. “There isn’t the value chain to make it happen.” Funding for transportation infrastructure projects is already a hot topic of debate in many states, especially with gasoline tax revenues slowing as consumption declines. From implementation of congestion pricing to passage of more bond measures, public officials are looking for new ways to fund projects that dovetail with the idea of creating better systems for the future. Transit agencies need to reinvent themselves to focus on managing mobility on a regional level in the public interest, Tumlin says. Planners and builders should learn from past mistakes, he says. “Every

The city of Anaheim joined Anaheim Resort Transportation to offer a free on-demand microtransit service that uses electric vehicles to ferry passengers around popular downtown locations. The service is dubbed FRAN, which stands for Free Rides Around the Neighborhood.

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single thing we should be doing now to accommodate 20 years from now, we should have been doing 20 years ago,” he says. With so much uncertainty—and communities facing so many short-term concerns—preparing for the transportation future is not a top priority for many planners. Even autonomous vehicles, which many believe are destined to be a major part of future networks, are still not part of the planning process for many communities, with issues such as insurance and safety still unresolved. In Anaheim, autonomous vehicles are a frequent topic of discussion, but it would take five years for the city to develop the framework and infrastructure to bring them to city streets, Kotler says. “We’ve begun conversations,” she says. “That’s where we’re at.” Amid change and uncertainly, it is difficult to evaluate a proposal like Uber Air, even though Uber executives insist it will be months, not years, before people see skyports. Uber’s financial backing and the number of industry players participating suggest it should be taken seriously. But there are still mounds of regulatory and cultural hurdles to overcome before communities are happy with streams of eVTOL flying overhead, industry executives say. (Uber executives declined an opportunity to comment for this story.) Cassani is one of many who say they are a skeptical of flying options. “These things are still far away, from my point of view,” he says. Any transportation concept looking to make a dent in traffic patterns will almost certainly raise social and cultural issues, in addition to the regulatory debate. UberAir will likely develop as a service for the wealthy, which will revive discussions about the growing segregation of transportation according to the ability to pay. Some planners have suggested that autonomous vehicles will require a complete rethink of roads and the pedestrian right-of-way, including such elements as gates at crosswalks to better control the flow of people on foot. Nothing about developing the transportation future will be easy. “We need to be prepared for erratic change,” Tumlin says. “Change is going to be bumpy.” UL KEVIN BRASS

is a writer based in Southern California.

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How to Implement a Smart Building JOHANNES NUSSBAUM

A nervous system capable of collecting data and a brain that is able to make use of it are vital to a system that meets the needs

@CHOMBOSAN/ISTOCK.COM

of stakeholders—and society.

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The discussion about whether smart buildings are a fad or a necessity for the future of real estate should come to an end. Instead, professionals should be realizing the advantages a smart building can provide for people and the planet. Successful case studies of the implementation and optimization of smart building solutions heavily focus on outstanding user experience. Buildings serve as places where people live, work, and interact with friends and colleagues. Thus, an office building should actively boost the productivity of its users while supporting a healthy and balanced lifestyle to directly contribute to their wellbeing. On top of that, it should connect with building operators and other relevant services through technology. And, finally, buildings must be considered within their surrounding environment of the built world and natural spaces, including their relationship with infrastructure, energy consumption, mobility, and people. Smart buildings are an important piece in the puzzle of smart cities—cities that create a better and healthier environment, consume less energy, and better manage the flow of people. There is no generally accepted definition of what constitutes a smart building, nor what constitutes a smart city. However, a common understanding exists about what they should do: smart buildings and smart cities should reduce the carbon footprint, decrease consumption of resources such as energy and space, provide efficient mobility, and contribute to the long-term health and well-being of occupants. Those engaged in design, architecture, and technology should follow these priorities—maximizing building efficiency and user well-being. Where designers and

architects make huge efforts conforming to the trend of “new work”—the workplace of the future—the technology in their buildings often falls short.

What a Smart Building Can Do A truly smart building employs technology to fulfill several functions, provide the best possible user experience, and meet the demands of large organizations and other stakeholders. Optimization of building operations and processes, more efficient use of space, and increased employee productivity are precursors of what will be possible in the future. Building operations and processes. Sensors generate data about the status of building operations and processes, allowing their adjustment based on that data. Fully automated and intelligent building control has the potential to reduce energy costs by up to 40 percent—particularly helpful when climate change and sustainability targets are gaining increasing attention at large organizations. Today, buildings are still regularly controlled by seasonal fixedtime programs, resulting in suboptimal working conditions for users, inefficient building operation, and wasted energy. But technology has the ability to control buildings according to actual user behavior and preference. Use of space. Fine-mesh data can provide valuable insights to the corporate real estate manager. For example, use rates for meeting rooms and other shared spaces can be continuously monitored and analyzed, providing tenants with valuable information. According to JLL’s “Occupancy Benchmarking Report,” an average worker is away from his or her desk for 60 percent of the time, causing office space to be highly underused. Reducing that away-from-desk number provides

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tenants with a significant potential for cost reduction as space becomes increasingly expensive. The JLL report also reveals that 77 percent of corporate real estate professionals want to improve the quality of their space-use measurements. While occupancy is listed as the top metric for their corporate real estate organization, only 61 percent of organizations track space use, according to JLL. Conclusions can only be as good as the underlying data. For proper decision making, data about space use must be assessed on a permanent and ubiquitous basis, which requires a fine-mesh sensor network. Employee productivity. Data can be used to learn about individual preferences and employee needs, allowing managers to act immediately on that knowledge, thereby ensuring that issues are resolved swiftly and that resources are provided as required.

How to Enable a Smart Building In the human body, the nervous system collects fine-mesh and real-time data, and sensory organs ensure that enough useful, valid, and representative data is collected to support important objectives. A smart building functions in a similar way and, employing the collected information, can learn use patterns and adjust its operations predictively and proactively—just as the human body does. In order for a building to do this, the quality, availability, and security of the provided data need to be ensured. Data security, in particular, is critical and serves as a basic need for technology acceptance. Next in importance, data transmission speed and latency need to meet the highest standards if sensors are to provide real-time information and building systems to react to changes in conditions. Having fulfilled those basic requirements, one can start to create a seamless experience

for the user. Data that nobody understands does not add value for stakeholders. The ability to analyze, understand, and present the most important conclusions—adjusted to individual stakeholders’ preferences—is the most important element for addressing the needs of stakeholders and increasing demand for smart building technologies. People need to be able to profit from the technology without having to understand the details and infrastructure behind it. Dashboards and apps need to create that seamless experience and maximize the created value.

Challenges of Smart Buildings Alongside euphoria there will always be skepticism. To address data security and user acceptance, real estate professionals must include the most important stakeholders from the very start of the planning process and create smart buildings that address their basic needs. Without that commitment, planners risk constructing the smartest buildings that no one is willing to pay for. Another challenge is that installations must be updatable and scalable to meet the changing needs of users and provide flexibility in times of frequent technological change. Software developers and hardware manufacturers are innovating at an everaccelerating rate, making it difficult to stay on top of the market, thereby increasing the need for standardized data protocols. In addition, there is understandable skepticism about data security, cyber-security, and privacy. Solutions by startups and traditional players should always be assessed regarding their resilience, where they store data, and the encryption technology that they employ.

The Solution Though many different ways and technological solutions exist to make a building

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smart, there is also still a lack of standardized solutions on the market. Only a few can ensure provision of the required security and real-time availability of data. It is widely accepted that lighting is the best physical infrastructure to make a building smarter, because lighting is a common requirement throughout a building or campus and the lighting infrastructure is highly granular. Powering of LED lights with standard network infrastructure, also known as power over ethernet (PoE), has started its triumphal march. Electrical and data bus infrastructures are replaced with network cabling to create a fine mesh network and make a building fully connected, flexible, and intelligent, providing the basis for a truly smart and automated building. However, PoE solutions have some disadvantages: PoE lighting requires additional proprietary and power-wasting drivers at each light fixture, as well as, often, additional active network devices in ceilings, which together consume more power for upholding network communication than the lighting itself. It creates ethernet network traffic with no added benefit, requires an external lighting network management system, and adds hundreds or thousands of additional internet protocol (IP) addresses that must be managed and maintained within a building. The company I work for, wtec, came up with a solution that keeps all the benefits of network-powered lighting and eliminates the disadvantages of PoE. It does so by powering LED lights via standard data cabling using safe low-voltage DC power combined with multi-sensors at each light fixture position. The wtec smartengine technology was designed specifically to make building infrastructure less complex TECHNOLOGY 2019

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landwrites Data that nobody understands does not add value for stakeholders.

What’s Next In addition to a fine-mesh sensor network collecting the right type of information and 66

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doing so in a secure way, all devices inside the building should be able to communicate and deliver data as well as “listen” to other devices. Just like humans, a smart building needs a brain where this information comes together, is processed, and is stored. The brain then needs to act, learning over time to become better and make better decisions, serving all stakeholders. A number of companies are working on this and offering first solutions, which are likely to improve when infrastructure to provide data and connectivity has been installed in more buildings. With further installation of smart building infrastructure like the smartengine technology, paired with connected devices, “brain” software, and tenant apps, the benefits of intelligent buildings will become evident. This will boost the urgently needed discussion about common standards for open and secure exchange of information and break down old silos of proprietary protocols and systems. In the future, all devices could be connected to a single internet technology infrastructure, a “virtual bus” cable over which they communicate with each other without friction and without intermediaries. People will understand and use the perks of this new class of building. Smart buildings will grow together and include other elements like infrastructure, mobility, and services to create smart neighborhoods and cities. The rising use of technology will also create new challenges that need to be solved. Technology will have huge impacts on work and productivity and society. How we embrace these changes—and whether we deal with these technological changes in a responsible and human way—will determine the future of our cities and society. UL

W o t i t i w e c m t b p i w t “ o

IBEN FALCONER

Principles for making cities smart—for the people in them.

c t w n o m t t j y

r c e d m

has been working in real estate since 2011, starting his career at Art-Invest Real Estate, a leading German developer and investor. He works as managing director at wtec GmbH, the manufacturer of the smartengine technology. He has been nominated as a member of the ULI Smart City Council Germany. JO HAN N ES N USSB AUM

GEHL

and easier to change, reduce installation work and materials, and provide maximal energy efficiency. The Silicon Valley and Frankfurt–based technology firm, launched in 2011, has not attracted much attention in the real estate world yet, but its clients understand its potential and have pushed the technology toward their needs. With the smartengine system, a finemesh network of multifunctional sensors collects information about the building’s occupancy, temperature, and power consumption. This data is shared with the building management system and matched with other relevant data sources (such as weather data, bookings of space, and security systems), allowing optimization of the building’s performance. The need to understand space use and find available workspace—key to users and corporate real estate managers—is addressed by providing real-time and historical data in high resolution all over the building. Creating large amounts of data also raises the question of how to comply with data protection and privacy requirements. Smartengine ensures that data is stored where it is created—locally. Access to the data is controlled by the tenant using standard state-of-the-art network authentication and authorization methodology. Landlords and operators can use the open API (application programming interface) to run the heating and cooling system more efficiently in response to fine-mesh occupancy and temperature data, or the tenant can share the data with smartbuilding or tenant-engagement app providers that already offer useful solutions. For more advanced users, a secure cloud connection can be established with any major cloud provider. This enables, for example, benchmarking of data against other buildings and the use of artificial intelligence for prediction and advanced analytics.

Involve the Public in Data Collection for Better Results

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the city from spatial and people perspectives. We map and measure these two elements over time, which allows us to see the relationship between space and life. This knowledge helps us make decisions about something as large as planning an entire city to something as small as planning a pocket park. Having worked in more than 250 cities around the globe, we have collected an enormous data set that gives us insights into what makes cities work. Our methods helped former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration incrementally test the pedestrianization of Times Square, which led to an entire redesign of this major public space. This data set has also helped us work with smaller cities. In Nashville, for instance, we explained to business owners in the Lower Broadway neighborhood that, at night, they were experiencing pedestrian traffic patterns that rivaled those in Shanghai. This blew their minds and enabled bold decisionmaking about street improvements that will lead to a safer, more comfortable pedestrian experience in this vital economic area. We love data. We know that leaders today—mayors, developers, and major companies—need data to make thoughtful decisions about the future of our cities. PSPL methods take Gehl employees and partners into the streets to engage with members of the community about their city.

CITY OF CHATTANOOGA

privacy issue, he told me that the company assured him that the data was anonymized. (Hmm.) When I asked him if the company was considering any sort of community engagement about this project or even an announcement that they were doing it, he said no. (Yikes!) This, to me, is a classic example of a trend that is quite prevalent: a desire for data (great!) without a clear public benefit (not great), and without thinking through the potential repercussions or hacks down the line (really bad). As in many industries, the proliferation of technology solutions within real estate and the built environment has been transformative. I cannot open my email without seeing an announcement of a new proptech conference or a smart cities seminar. The opportunities to use big data to build better, faster, and more flexible cities are dizzyingly exciting, but also deeply concerning. At Gehl, data is in our DNA. Our founder, Jan Gehl, started collecting data about how people use public space back in the 1960s. He used this understanding to inform design and to strategize for more public life such as enjoying the outdoors, people-watching, and safely crossing the street, and to counter poor urban environments that force people to run when crossing a street or to be sandwiched on narrow sidewalks. To make visible these typically invisible behaviors, we developed a Public Space Public Life (PSPL) survey, which looks at

GEHL

What if the design and programming of public spaces could be informed by the needs of the local community—even including people typically excluded from traditional engagement processes? What if large data sets could be combined with fine-grained information about lived experience to make neighborhoods safer, cleaner, and healthier? What if city governments could partner with private entities to use residents’ data to make their lives better—rather than to sell them more products? The answers to these questions illustrate what a “people-first smart city” would look like. Unfortunately, across all the cities currently committed to being “smart,” I cannot point to a single example of one being smart for people.  I recently spoke with someone from a city government who excitedly told me how the city was partnering with a company that would use cell phone data to count the number of people in public spaces throughout the city. He told me this kind of measurement and tracking would enable advertisers to send targeted ads to people who opt in to use certain apps—for example, if you had just bought a coffee, the app could direct you to a nearby store to buy a doughnut. I was astonished by this answer. Is this really the highest and best use of publicly collected data? Do I want my city to be gathering extensive and invasive amounts of data about me so that a third party can sell me a doughnut? When pressed about the

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GEHL & IDEO

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The CommuniSense app, a prototype of how to engage the public about data collection in the public realm.

We know that good public spaces invite everybody. We know that understanding how public spaces function gives us the information needed to help them function better, and we know that you need to observe and measure to make this possible. We know that (in the words of Jan) “we measure what we care about,” and that organizations that measure are better at achieving their goals. And we know there are new ways to capture this data. Back when Jan Gehl first developed the methods used in the PSPL survey, it was a data-rich but analog process involving people on the street with counters and clipboards. We are now working with companies such as SpringBoard and Numina to use sensors in the public realm to capture pedestrian and vehicular flow data. The data that public-realm sensors can gather is astounding.

The Human Element There are two points that I want to raise about this sort of big-data collection in the public realm. The first is a note of caution about these new tools and the accuracy of the data that they provide. We know from our work that sensors alone cannot be the holy grail of understanding public life. It is only when you combine that data with the ethnographic data from being on the street that you get a truly representative and enhanced understanding of public life. If we rely on sensors 68

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alone, we are missing nuances in the data that give us important clues about what is actually happening in cities and neighborhoods. When we are on the street for our PSPL survey, we start to notice more than we are being asked to document. Say you have a public square, with one corner that is rarely inhabited. A sensor will inform you that no one is there, but a human might notice other things. Perhaps a pile of smelly trash is always there during the day, or a neighbor plays loud music that makes it impossible to hold a conversation. These are the types of observations that make the human brain special—and uniquely qualified to be a judge of public life. For this reason, we strongly advocate using both sensors and humans—relying on each for what it does best. Sensors can give a city a more detailed picture, but not necessarily the big picture. The second point is that the need for data must be balanced with a thoughtful, engaged process in which we ask: What are we collecting and for what purpose? Are people—the source of our data—aware of and engaged in the collection process? Have they opted in? Do they have a say? Thanks to privacy rules such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), every time I go to a website, I am informed that it is using cookies. But, does the same thing happen when you leave your home and step out into the street? Is the only way to opt out

of the data-collection process to never leave your home? Concern is increasing about privacy and data collection in all aspects of our lives. The New York Times, for example, has been running a series called “The Privacy Project,” which has covered deeply troubling data practices of the New York City Police Department, including having children as young as 11 in the department’s facial recognition database. There was a piece about how “anonymized” personally identifiable information (PII) that tracked people’s movements throughout the city could be quickly de-anonymized by reporters. There is growing awareness of how racial biases are built into data collection, and then exacerbated by the metrics and decision-making that follow. The rising skepticism is legitimate. We should all be deeply troubled by this and questioning the companies offering these services, as well as the government agencies that fail to regulate them. It would be easy to say, “Ban all data collection! Remove all sensors and don’t let them back into our cities!” I understand that impulse, but I think it is misguided. The trick is ensuring that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Good actors need to stake their claim to data collection. If we do not, then the technology will evolve to simply be about marketing and advertising. I believe there is a strong role for regulators. There also is a real need for fullthroated, open-armed, and open-hearted

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GEHL & IDEO

community engagement. One reason people are suspicious about data collection is that many of us did not (or still do not) realize how data could be monetized. To take a non-public-realm example, everyone thought they were signing up for Facebook because it was a fun way to share photos and stay in touch with friends. Users did not understand that Facebook would use the data for marketing and other purposes. What would it look like if Facebook, governmental agencies, and all organizations that collected data about us were very open and obvious about what kind of data they are collecting and why they are collecting it? Many tech companies have promised us a frictionless future in which all one’s needs and desires are anticipated and seamlessly satisfied. We are seeing many examples of “disrupter” companies being challenged by the friction of government regulations and community pushback. This is a good thing because it will ensure that there is balance in deciding what our collective future looks like. Our move toward this frictionless future needs to hit some bumps along the way, and community engagement is precisely one of those useful impediments. We have found time and again in our work that a solution that is co-created with the community and responsive to actual needs is a stronger, more successful solution than one developed in a vacuum. 

Collaborative Cities At Gehl, we have been exploring this idea through a partnership with IDEO CoLab on the theme of collaborative cities. Through work with a number of private corporations, we know that the so-called smart city depends on intensive data collection that will allow the city to optimize many functions such as traffic, water management, and public safety. Without increased data literacy among the public, though, we risk losing overall support for these initiatives. The question we asked ourselves at the beginning of a design sprint back in April was how we might increase public awareness of data collection in the public realm and engage people in a conversation about its utility. Our answer was to develop an art installation called Vanishing Point,

which allows a person to visualize and compare how he or she appears within the data capture from different sources, including cameras, sensors, and cell phones. Vanishing Point also asked them to share feedback on how that visualization made them feel. We designed it this way because we wanted it to start a conversation about this process among members of the public. In a second design sprint two months later, we pushed this idea further, building a prototype of an app that makes sensors placed in the public realm by city agencies visible on a map. Users can select a specific sensor and read about why it is there and precisely what it is measuring. For example, say a city is trying to gauge whether it needs an additional crosswalk on a street with a high volume of cars and high instances of jaywalking. Using this tool, the city can announce the presence of the sensor, and users can “follow” certain projects. Residents can share their thoughts on the larger project and even sign up to be notified about the next public hearing on the issue. There are already good examples of this type of open data collection in cities today. One example is the bicycle counters (cykelbarometer) in Copenhagen, which use a sensor line in the bike lanes to count each bike that passes by. A display shows the number of bicycles for the day and for the year. (Because Copenhagen is dedicated to being kind to cyclists, the cykelbarometer includes an air pump for bicycle tires.) This is a simple yet effective way to engage the public in data collection, and maybe even to generate excitement about it and pride in it. From these projects, we developed a series of insights: l Make the technology understandable. The types of data gathered in the public realm are not well understood by the public. The language regarding data is not engaging or open to a layperson, making it easy for a person to get confused or upset about what is being gathered. For example, terminology such as edge and metadata needs to be clarified. l Define what “good” means to the public. Public and private entities are not being explicit about the reasons for collecting data, which leads to distrust and

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skepticism. If the data is used “for the public good,” then that “good” needs to be defined. In addition, connecting data collection to goals and projects makes conversations much more actionable and specific. l Proactively collaborate to avoid friction later. Companies and cities would benefit from getting ahead of a problem rather than facing the backlash later. Increased data literacy may limit data gathering and use, but it could also generate greater opportunities through collaboration. Increased understanding leads to increased participation. l Garner public support to harness the value of existing data. Companies (particularly energy companies) can tap into enormous amounts of data that could increase operational efficiency and cut costs, but they are not currently permitted to do so because of data privacy considerations. If companies could receive public permission through open engagement with the public on what they might use the data for and why, then all parties would benefit from the data being put to its best use. From our conversations as part of this and other projects, we understand that it is seen as risky to be the first adopter of this type of public engagement work. Managers of public spaces are worried that drawing attention to the sensors they use would have only negative effects on them. That is why our next question is this: how can we remove the risk of being the first adopter? Increasingly, we are seeing cities such as San Francisco and Somerville, Massachusetts, prohibit certain technologies, such as facial recognition. Which cities will start the challenging—but ultimately rewarding—process of fully informing people about data collection and bringing them into the process? If we as a society are committed to the idea of smart cities, we need to make sure we are asking “smart for what?” and “smart for whom?” I, for one, want to make sure that we are not making cities that are driven by technological possibility alone, but cities where people’s needs—for health, for safety, for happiness—are our number-one priority. UL IB EN FALCO N ER is a director at Gehl in New York City, where she works as a strategist focusing on partnerships and investments for the firm’s Innovation Team.

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INTRODUCING ULI GREENPRINT’S INNOVATION PARTNERS The ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance is an alliance of leading owners and investors committed to cost-effectively improving the environmental performance of the global real estate industry. To keep members apprised of the newest and most advanced green building opportunities in the market, Greenprint’s Innovation Partner Program connects technology and service companies with real estate members to share emerging strategies that advance sustainability across portfolios. Its Innovation Partners are technology companies and service providers that are revolutionizing sustainability and energy efficiency across the built environment. Showcased here are seven current and past Innovation Partners and the innovations they are introducing to the market for real estate stakeholders. To learn more, visit uli.org/greenprint.

WoodWorks– Wood Products Council WoodWorks provides free technical support as well as education and resources related to the code-compliant design of nonresidential and multifamily wood buildings with the goal of making it easier to design, engineer, and construct wood buildings at less cost. WoodWorks provides project assistance to developers and their design teams on innovative mass timber and traditional wood-framed buildings and educates developers on the environmental benefits of wood building systems, as well as their cost-related advantages such as aesthetic value and speed of construction.

Our Greenprint Innovation Partnership has accelerated the awareness of innovative building systems. Early adopters of these solutions are leading the way to more sustainable and resilient communities.”

—Bill Parsons, vice president of operations, WoodWorks–Wood Products Council

By developing innovative mass timber solutions, the Lendlease/WoodWorks partnership has advanced the use of sustainable materials not only on our projects, but also in the broader design/construction market.”

—Jeff Morrow, construction manager, Timber & Innovations Group, Lendlease

The Wood Products Council and Lendlease have collaborated for years to advance mass timber construction in the United States. WoodWorks’ primary role has been educating the design teams and supporting the Lendlease Privatized Army Lodging (PAL) program for hotel construction. Together the two groups won acceptance for use of cross-laminated timber in the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Uniform Facilities Criteria and Uniform Facilities Guide Specifications, which provide design and construction criteria for DoD projects. Together, WoodWorks and Lendlease have designed and built five hotel projects (with more in design or under construction), as well as several test facilities used by various agencies for fire- and blast-resistance testing.

—John F. Williams, chairman and chief executive officer, Autocase; board chair, Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure

Autocase Autocase allows clients to efficiently create business cases to optimize capital investments and construction. Autocase assesses the long-term financial, social, and environmental impacts (the triple bottom line) of capital investments to prioritize projects, shape design, and engage stakeholders regarding value drivers such as improved health and productivity of occupants, energy savings and renewable energy generation, water conservation, and broader community co-benefits. Autocase helps real estate companies gain a better understanding of how their building decisions are affecting value for occupants, employees, the community, and the environment.

At Autocase, we see buildings, particularly those in urban settings, as a big part of the solution to current climate and sustainability challenges. In addition to providing essential shelter [and] learning and work environments, they act as centers of community and commerce. Well-designed buildings deliver significant financial, social, and environmental returns on investment to their owners, occupants,

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and host communities. The inverse is true for poorly designed buildings. Autocase provides economic data that our real estate customers use to improve building design, retrofit spaces, and prioritize operations investment to deliver optimal triple-bottom-line returns.”

Prologis, a ULI Greenprint member, has made sustainability a core aspect of its business operation and, in order to demonstrate the impact of this emphasis, leveraged Autocase to not only express the value added financially, socially, and environmentally, but also to guide its decision-making. Prologis Park Tacoma, the world’s first WELL-certified building in its category, is an example of this partnership. Through the economic analysis run by Autocase, Prologis is able to determine and express the value added to building occupants—such as improved health and productivity, including increased employee retention—and to the community at large in terms of reductions in air pollutants and carbon emissions.

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Urban Lan


19 4:19 PM

Measurabl

Black Bear Energy

Measurabl is the world’s most widely adopted ESG (environmental, social, and governance) data management platform for commercial real estate and multibuilding tenants. With more than 40,000 commercial buildings constituting 8 billion square feet in 70 countries using its platform, Measurabl helps some of the world’s most advanced companies measure, manage, and disclose their sustainability performance. From automated utility data synchronization to building and portfolio benchmarking to advanced reporting, Measurabl takes sustainability data from meter to market.

Black Bear Energy is a buyer’s representative that helps real estate owners and occupiers procure and deploy on-site solar installation, battery storage, and LED lighting. The company represents more than 55 U.S. clients who own or manage over 4 billion square feet of commercial real estate. Black Bear supports its clients from project identification, vendor selection, and contract negotiations to oversight of construction. There is no cost to sign up for services, and Black Bear is only paid at the successful implementation of a project.

ULI Greenprint member Heitman uses Measurabl across its real estate portfolio, says Laura Craft, Heitman’s head of global sustainability. “If you are going to have a sustainable program, you need to have an underlying ESG data system that is tracking metrics and achievements. Measurabl simplifies portfolio-wide ESG data collection, management, and reporting. Seeing performance, trends, and accomplishments in Measurabl creates global insight for the Heitman team. The goal is to track in the right direction, reducing carbon, and building value.”

In 2018, solar equipment was installed on two buildings owned by GID Investment Advisers. The projects, which are GID’s first solar leases, provide energy to the cities of Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts, while also providing low-cost energy to low-income residents and roof rental income to GID. Black Bear Energy facilitated the project, acting as regional solar project developer Davis Hill Development’s representative to GID.

The Urban Land Institute has been an incredible partner as we provide unique, industry-leading ESG benchmarking and data-driven thought leadership to Greenprint members. We're proud to continue our third year of partnership with ULI Greenprint as we advance our shared mission of empowering organizations with investmentgrade data and sustainability solutions.”

—Matt Ellis, founder and chief executive officer, Measurabl

We are excited to see these solar installations providing power to the local communities. These installations align with GID’s core values for sustainability by helping to increase the resiliency of our local communities and providing long-term value to our assets.”

—Matthew Bernstein, asset manager and co-chair of the sustainability committee, GID. The systems generate a total of 824 kilowatts and are located at two of GID’s multifamily properties in Greater Boston—Windsor at Maxwell’s Green in Somerville and Windsor at Cambridge Park in Cambridge.

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View View Smart Windows are digitally connected and automatically adjust their tint to increase natural daylight, minimize heat and glare, and eliminate the need for blinds. View is transforming expectations of the indoor environment by improving human wellness, smart connectivity, and energy efficiency. Employers and real estate developers choose View because they recognize the important relationship among the indoor environment, occupant business outcomes, and a building’s market appeal. CODA is a 755,000-square-foot tower in downtown Atlanta’s Tech Square, which has the highest density of technology companies and researchers in the U.S. Southeast. The building was designed to facilitate interactions between startups, Fortune 500 companies, university affiliates, and researchers and students in the Georgia Tech system, and to create opportunities for people in different disciplines to come together to solve the complex societal and technological challenges facing the world today. View is a technology showpiece for this building intended to promote an environment of collaboration and innovation among occupants.

CODA is a class T building, designed to foster innovation through collaboration. CODA is anchored by Georgia Tech, and all other tenants are tech-focused companies who are in CODA for co-location and to attract talent and drive innovation by occupying work environments that foster collaboration. View’s smart glass and intelligent technology are a key component of creating this high-quality environment.”

—Ambrish Baisiwala, chief executive officer and chairman, Portman Holdings

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Carbon Lighthouse Carbon Lighthouse’s mission is to help stop climate change by making it easy and profitable for building owners to eliminate carbon emissions caused by wasted energy. The company’s approach to efficiency involves going deep into buildings to uncover and continuously correct hidden inefficiencies that add up to meaningful financial value and produce carbon elimination that lasts. Since 2010, Carbon Lighthouse has helped commercial real estate (CRE), educational, hospitality, and industrial customers nationwide enhance building comfort, increase net operating income, and achieve their sustainability goals.

$500,000 in portfolio-wide lifetime energy savings. Carbon Lighthouse engineers worked with Kilroy’s on-site building and facilities teams to make a range of improvements, including installing controls algorithms in central plant equipment such as central boilers and cooling towers, and adjusting air handler controls to ensure optimal efficiency in a building.

Waypoint Energy Utilities often find it difficult to navigate the nuances of the commercial real estate sector. By speaking the language of both utilities and commercial real estate, Waypoint Energy facilitates energy efficiency project implementation and utility program adoption that result in increased energy savings and cost savings. Waypoint serves the commercial real estate community by providing professional and consulting services to owners, investors, managers, and tenants across the built environment.

“ “

The ULI Greenprint mission is more important than ever. It’s a powerful venue for Carbon Lighthouse to share insight about our approach to profitable carbon elimination while learning from CRE leaders so that we can ever more closely align our technology to address industry needs and challenges.”

—JJ Steeley, executive vice president, customer experience, Carbon Lighthouse Carbon Lighthouse has implemented energy efficiency measures in six California assets of ULI Greenprint member Kilroy Realty Corporation. The shared goal was to increase each asset’s net operating income, stabilize operating expenses, and, most important, improve tenant comfort. CLUES, Carbon Lighthouse’s patented technology, uncovered inefficiencies in the central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, allowing Carbon Lighthouse teams to implement solutions that delivered over

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Monitoring, managing, and strategically reducing energy consumption across commercial real estate is no longer simply a nice portfolio add-on. It’s imperative. Waypoint works with leading commercial real estate companies to benchmark and track their energy usage and build targeted programs in order to help them achieve ambitious climate and energy reduction goals. ULI’s Greenprint Innovation Partner Program marries together technology and real estate for more profound partnerships.”

—Emily Pearce, vice president, Waypoint Energy ULI Greenprint member LaSalle Investment Management is one of many real estate firms leveraging Waypoint’s portfolio-level benchmarking, auditing, and utility incentive application support. For example, together with the Commonwealth Edison utility in Chicago, Waypoint identified nearly 400,000 kilowatt-hours of potential energy savings and over $140,000 in utility incentives for LaSalle’s office and multifamily properties. LaSalle was able to leverage Waypoint’s experience with utilities and incentives to guide its ESG strategy. Further, Waypoint created a comprehensive report of financial utility incentives for LaSalle’s entire domestic portfolio, highlighting the

best and highest-impact utility incentives available to each property, with guidance on how to prioritize projects LaSalle could begin implementing immediately. Because every utility offers different incentives for different energy efficiency projects, this service provides big benefits to the real estate sector in streamlining opportunities and plans.

Greenprint

Reducing Carbon. Building Value.

The Urban Land Institute is a global, member-driven organization comprising more than 45,000 real estate and urban development professionals dedicated to advancing the Institute’s mission of providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. The ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance is a worldwide alliance of leading real estate owners, investors, and strategic partners committed to improving the environmental performance of the global real estate industry. Through measurement, benchmarking, knowledge sharing, and implementation of best practices, Greenprint and its members strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030.

uli.org/greenprint

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Tech Takeaways

PATRICK J. KIGER AND MIKE SHERIDAN

Technology and innovation were hot topics at the 2019 ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C. These are some of the insights that speakers and attendees shared.

Defining Smart Jennifer Bradley, founding director of the Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation, an international think tank that advocates for a values-led approach to piloting and implementing urban technologies. “I’m a big digital city skeptic. I think of it as more of a marketing term, a way that cities seek to distinguish themselves from other cities,” Bradley says. Technology that makes cities more efficient, resilient, and collaborative has advanced to the point where using digital tools is just another characteristic of being a well-run city, she suggests. Having a digital layer to city infrastructure, such as cloud-based management of services, is going to be taken for granted by the

public. Residents are “waking up from the tech sugar rush” and viewing technological change more skeptically, she says. They also are increasingly wary about who will get the actual benefit from change—them, or the tech giants marketing their products

that’s cool, that’s flashy, but what problem does it solve?” to governments. “People are starting to say,

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To What End? Salomon Salinas, managing director of Accenture Digital Launching an array of pilot programs that use new technologies does not transform a city into a smart city, Salinas says. Smartness is more of a strategic mind-set—“a city that recognizes fundamental opportunity to

redefine human

experience to create new value.” Technology should be viewed as

a means to an end. “JFK said, ‘Let’s put men on the moon,’ not, ‘Let’s build the Saturn V.’” CK

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Even so, Salinas says technological advances will enable cities to K/

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transform themselves. Within a few years, he says, there will be more than

two dozen sensors deployed for every person, measuring everything from weather and environmental conditions to

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various types of human activity. The data that those sensors compile will flow via the cloud into more internet-connected devices—as many as six per person. That capability will give humanity a chance to have

information that’s never been collected before in real time, and to

connect streams of data that have never been combined before. “The implications of that connectivity are enormous.”

George Karayannis, head of CityNOW, Panasonic North America’s urban innovation division Panasonic’s sustainable smart town development in Fujisawa, Japan, is an example of technology’s potential transformative impact, Karayannis says. The solar-powered community incorporates features such as shared mobility services that provide residents with electric cars and electricity-assisted bicycles, as well as an online portal to connect residents with health care services. Homes in the development are worth more than others nearby, Karayannis says. Smart technology

“can drive superior ROI.”

Panasonic is teaming up with developer LC Fulenwider to build Peña Station Next, a smart town near Denver International Airport, which will use robotic shuttles and a sensor ©K

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array that will continuously monitor environmental conditions, as well as traffic density

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and pedestrian count. The Denver project illustrates the importance of working with local

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government and residents to figure out which innovations meet their needs. “We define smart

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cities as whatever that collection of stakeholders defines as important. It can be tech-rich or tech-poor, but

it’s never tech-led.”

Drew Myers, senior consultant at Washington, D.C.–based data analytics firm CoStar Group “Smaller, local, or regionally based companies develop strategies that work well for them in markets they know well,” Myers says. “Outside of scaling up to major portfolio acquisitions and evaluations, companies may not see a need to deviate from past methods that have returned success. But we do believe analytics and real estate tech are critical to

driving outsized performance in the

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the spectrum.”

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Tech or Innovation? Jason Fudin, cofounder and chief executive officer of WhyHotel “There’s a huge difference between technology and innovation,” says Fudin, chief executive officer of the Washington, D.C.–based startup that monetizes unleased space in new apartment buildings by obtaining hospitality licenses and creating pop-up hotels. The “broken” legacy parts of commercial real estate can be revitalized to create revenue by changing “the way you do space utilization, consumer products, the way you comingle uses, the way you get to flexible or densify uses. For us, that’s

the first solving point.

We wouldn’t say we’re a technology company. We’d say we’re a high-growth real

software pricing solutions and yield-optimization tools to

estate innovation company.” While WhyHotel uses

inform its operations, the company’s real value is that “we’ve found an innovative way to make real estate better, to make better consumer products,” Fudin says. “Technology is just a tool.” Fudin started out working in commercial real estate in high-rise development, ©

and previously worked in multifamily residential projects for Washington-area

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developer Vornado, where he gained insights and knowledge that enabled him to see an

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opportunity in repurposing underused capacity. “I definitely am a real estate insider, and

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I am a disrupter,” he says. “I think everyone is resigned to the fact that

there are going to be other platforms that come from this world” of property technology, he says.

Justin Stewart, cofounder and president, Industrious “We pride ourselves as the premium offering in this sector,” Stewart says of New York–based Industrious, a high-end coworking firm with 86 locations in 47 cities. “We focus more on the later-stage companies, the enterprise customer.” He previously was the director of acquisitions and operators for Windham Development and Windham China, where he headed the U.S. real estate operations. Industrious works with large real estate owners to enhance the ambience of their properties by building an app on behalf of the landlords that all the tenants can use to learn about events and book conference rooms and food and beverage service.

“Everything that’s really important is on this app.” Industrious does not market itself as a technology company, as do some of its competitors in the coworking space. “We are a highly monetized service offering for these landlords,” he says. “I would have said ‘disrupter’ a couple of years ago,” Stewart says, when asked to characterize Industrious’s role in

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the sector. “But the way our model is, we’re now partnering with all these landlords. So, I guess we’re disrupting with landlords in hand.”

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What’s Happening? Clara Brenner, cofounder and managing partner, Urban Innovation Fund The fund is a venture capital firm that invests in startups shaping the future of cities. Most of the ground-up innovation in smart city technology is coming from private-sector entrepreneurs rather than governments, Brenner says. She cites Bumblebee Spaces, a company that makes

robotic

systems that store furniture and other items

in the ceiling of an apartment when not in use. Such technology could make small apartments more livable and help reduce the shortage of

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affordable housing in cities.

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Roelof Opperman, managing director of real estate tech investments, Fifth Wall Fifth Wall is a venture capital firm in Venice, California, focused on digital innovation for the built world. “[E]very other sector in the world— chemicals, automotive, aerospace—seems to be zooming ahead in technology, spending 5 to 7 percent of revenue on technology and innovation,” Opperman says. “But not commercial real estate.” It is a very conservative asset class, he adds. “There is a

dearth of real estate software, possibly because some owners think they just buy and sell buildings.” But real estate is becoming more tech savvy. “All of a sudden,

the sector is waking up,”

he says. “There needs to be change, to see what some tech and innovation companies are offering. Amazon hurt retail real estate; perhaps that could happen in logistics or another sector. Everyone is raising funds for real estate, so commercial real estate will have to become more efficient. Owners aren’t just going to be able to purchase and sell. They will need to be super efficient. The next big step in building management is to have smart buildings, to help manage a building using technologies like

maintenance, for example.”

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Melanie Kirkwood Ruiz, chief information officer for the Americas, Cushman & Wakefield Cushman & Wakefield is collaborating with San Francisco–based proptech startup Saltmine to provide clients with a new way to visualize and plan their current or future workspace by quickly creating space plans, test fits, and virtual tours of potential workspaces. Using property data and core and shell plans, the Saltmine platform integrates clients’ workplace strategy, programming, and design in one place and

digitizes fully fitted properties in a

matter of days. “By virtually taking clients through a space and laying out their costs, we can make their site selection process predictable, experiential, and flexible,” Ruiz says. ©VG

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Yat-Pang Au, chief executive officer, Veritas Investments The San Francisco–based apartment owner/operator firm has more than 250 buildings in California. At several Veritas Investments apartment buildings in San Francisco, residents are testing Carson Living, a one-stop

electronic resident portal that is popular in New York City apartments without doormen. “Carson Living provides a 24/7 virtual doorman to facilitate a more secure entry for guests, deliveries, vendors, and more,” Au says. “It’s also a great tool for residents to communicate with the building manager, submit work orders, and receive news about the building. Residents are embracing it. It’s available to residents at no extra cost, and early feedback has been very positive.” In 2017, the firm formed Veritas Innovations Platform to advise, incubate, and, in some cases, invest in proptech firms that it thinks can ultimately benefit its residents or properties. Veritas is also using

the Aptly system to

deliver customer service,

including gathering direct customer feedback on top of Veritas’s on-site ©

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resident-manager relationships and phone support. “We’re reducing response IN

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times for resident issues and questions,” Au says. “Aptly also helps us measure customer satisfaction and happiness with every interaction. Residents know they are being heard, and we have a

real-time happiness score that reflects

the status with a resident and then through to the building or our entire portfolio.”

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Conclusion Mark Grinis, global real estate, hospitality, and construction leader, Ernst & Young Terms such as proptech and innovation are too generalized to be meaningful, Grinis says. “Every single business that’s real estate—whether you’re construction or management—is compartmentalized, and the solutions are compartmentalized. I think a lot of people are trying to figure out what the universe is, what they need to be focused on, what will give them real return on investment, and should they develop it or not develop it themselves.” Technology and innovation can provide the commercial real estate sector with the agility to respond to changing markets. Grinis notes that the real estate sector needs .C

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to figure out what to do with trillions of dollars in assets built under old assumptions

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Integrating Data Streams Will Produce New Just as has been the experience of

cloud-based construction apps. He is the

other industries, there is enormous poten-

founder of capital planning and project

municating 24/7,” he said. “You’ll need an

tial for real estate owners and managers to

management platform Honest Buildings,

industrial-grade, large-bandwidth pipe to

profit from using the immense streams of

which Procore acquired in July.

facilitate it.”

“Buildings themselves are essentially

data that their properties generate, panel-

Already, sensors and analytics are

ists said during the recent 2019 ULI Fall

becoming computers,” said Chase Garba-

transforming what goes on inside office

Meeting in Washington, D.C.

rino, chief executive officer and cofounder

buildings. VergeSense’s technology, for

of HqO, a tenant engagement platform.

example, enables its users to see how

Whereas the commercial sector increas-

employees move through buildings and

ingly is abandoning its old analog ways and

“I don’t think it’s one data set that will

shifting to property technology, or proptech,

have relative higher value,” said Elo Ofidile,

where they do their work, enabling them to

the buzzword for building-related applica-

head of business development for Verge-

spot excess capacity as well as facilitating

tions, the real revolution will come when

Sense, which markets an artificial intelli-

the sharing of desks and meeting spaces.

commercial real estate companies not only

gence–powered sensor and cloud app that

have amassed large amounts of data, but

tracks how workers use office spaces. “It’s

also have figured out how to combine infor-

the aggregation of all that data” that will

mation from different apps and turn that

cause value to surface, he predicted. Commercial real estate operators

data into actionable intelligence. That degree of integration would enable

78

“The smart building is going to be com-

also will need to beef up their electronic

“Our customers are transitioning from a static to an agile workplace,” Ofidile said. Building operators are likely to collaborate increasingly with tenants on gathering and sharing such data. “It’s amazing how little we know about

operators to leverage the power of all

infrastructure to take full advantage of

how people use real estate,” said HqO’s

the technology they have been putting

anticipated advances in smart building

Garbarino, whose company provides

into buildings and discover “insights that

technology, Ofidile said. And 5G, the next

operators with a branded mobile app for

didn’t exist before,” said Riggs Kubiak, a

generation of cellular connectivity that

tenants that helps them use smart build-

senior vice president for owner strategy

will provide vastly faster speed and band-

ing features and amenities to create a

at Procore Technologies, a provider of

width, will quickly become an essential.

better workplace experience. The app

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of how they would be used and generate revenue. But those old assumptions—such as the notion that prime locations in urban cores are crucial—may now no longer be so solid.

“All of these things that we figured we had to use in a certain construct, we now have choice,” Grinis says. “How does the real estate respond to that choice? Do I want to do it remotely, or do I want to go into the office? All of these different choices— do I want to own, or do I want to maybe not own?” The question of repurposing assets, he says, is tied into the larger question of “how do we think people are going to want to spend their time? How are they going to prioritize one action over another? And then, is my

estate designed to compete in that type of choice?”

real

P A T R I C K J . K I G E R and M I K E S H E R I D A N compiled this report from several sessions during the 2019 ULI Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., plus additional sources.

Insights for CRE also enables owners to better understand

ino said. “There’s a lot of liability with that.

tenant needs and wants.

We need to come up with standards of

Garbarino cited the case of an owner who was considering eliminating the firstfloor retail space in a building and converting it into a restaurant. But after using HqO’s app to survey tenants and find out how many of them wanted a restaurant, the owners discovered that dining “turned out to be seventh on the list of things

“At the end of the day, you need to own the data on how people use your product.” —CHASE GARBARINO, HqO

how we’re going to put this all together.” “People want to know what data is being collected and what it is used for,” Ofidile added. Tenants also will want the opportunity to opt out of data collection. The adoption of technology should accelerate as real estate operators begin to generate numbers to show the return on

they wanted.” The plan was scrapped as

investment, Sroka said. He suggested that

a result. “At the end of the day, you need

proptech eventually would have an impact

to own the data on how people use your product,” Garbarino said. Meanwhile, data on commercial real estate deals, which once was spread out across regional silos and entered manually into spreadsheets on personal computers, is now increasingly being captured automatically and analyzed in new ways, said

ate 20 percent more deals and made 30 percent fewer errors in due diligence. In addition to finding ways to combine data from different proptech apps, building operators will need to pay more attention to privacy and security issues, panelists agreed. In particular, real estate operators will

comparable to the advent of customer relationship management (CRM) software in the late 1990s, when CRM cloud app provider Salesforce was just taking off. “Today, you can’t compete effectively without CRM,” he said. The panel was moderated by Andrea Jang, growth lead for the Americas at JLL

Mike Sroka, chief executive officer and

need to anonymize data so that they can

Spark, a $100 million strategic global ven-

cofounder of Dealpath, a cloud-based deal

see patterns but not track individuals. “It’s

ture fund focused on proptech for the com-

management platform. Sroka said Deal-

not great when you can pinpoint when

mercial real estate sector.—P.J.K.

path users gained the capability to evalu-

John Doe comes into the building,” Garbar-

TECHNOLOGY 2019

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10/16/19 1:57 PM


backpage ROB PEGORARO

Expect 5G to Slow Its Roll as It Enters Buildings

©HAIQING ZHONG/ISTOCK.COM

Commercial structures could be a formidable barrier to 5G wireless.

R O B P E G O R A R O is a freelance writer who lives just outside Washington, D.C., and covers tech issues for such outlets as Yahoo Finance, USA Today, and Wirecutter.

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One aspect of 5G wireless will be anything but fast—bringing the benefits of this next-generation mobile broadband into large structures. In-building reception has been an issue with earlier wireless technologies. But 5G’s fastest, most responsive frequencies can have trouble getting through foliage, much less reinforced concrete. “5G will have a very challenging time propagating the signal through building materials,” says Arie Barendrecht, chief executive officer of WiredScore, a New York City firm that rates the connectivity of commercial structures. “This is already a challenge with 4G. We hear lots of tenants complaining about cell signal in buildings even today.” The treatment for that condition should remain the same as the technology moves from 4G to 5G—a distributed antenna system (DAS) that brings the outside signal deep into workspace interiors. Barendrecht cites prices of $1 to $3 per square foot [11 to $32 per sq m], but these are becoming a table-stakes item in negotiations between landlords and tenants. Commercial structures can pose two particular problems for wireless reception: heights that take them far above cell antennas pointed toward the ground, and window coatings on buildings constructed or renovated for energy efficiency. “Low-E glass is the equivalent of two feet [0.6 m] of concrete being wrapped around the building,” Barendrecht says. The millimeter-wave version of 5G employs much higher frequencies than today’s cell service to deliver speed and responsiveness competitive with fiberoptic broadband—download speeds above 1 billion bits per second and latency times below 10 milliseconds—but over much shorter distances. For the Boston firm Starry, which provides fixed-wireless residential broadband over millimeter-wave frequencies similar to those of 5G, the answer is to focus on extending millimeter wave’s outdoor range and not try to make indoor reception happen at all.

“We have done extensive testing in these bands,” says Virginia Lam Abrams, Starry senior vice president for communications and government relations. “Millimeter waves do not permeate modern construction materials like concrete and foil-backed insulation, and attenuate very easily.” Instead, the company has technicians install a Starry Point receiver outside a building and connect it to a router in each residence via existing wiring. Wireless carriers are also deploying 5G over mid- and low-band frequencies that travel farther than millimeter wave but do not match its speed and low latency. Qualcomm, which has developed much of the current 5G technology, says it has been able to provide 90 percent millimeter-wave 5G coverage in office spaces by putting 5G small cells adjacent to existing 4G repeaters. But building owners that installed a DAS may find themselves punished for their early adoption of gear that is not upgradable to 5G. “We recently met with a [chief information officer] of one of the largest REITs [real estate investment trusts] in the United States,” Barendrecht says. “They need to rip and replace 80 percent of their DAS systems.” Structures with more interior framing or more densely packed offices may require additional work. “5G DASs are going to need to be super dense in office spaces due to the attenuation of concrete, and it’s going to be a huge retrofit action for most of the buildings,” warns Tom Bridge, a partner at Technolutionary, a Washington, D.C., information technology consulting firm. Barendrecht advises architects to allow room in basements, walls, and ceilings for the cables required to weave together a DAS. “We always say 95 percent of wireless is wired,” he said. But he also suggests that building operators would be wise to wait as long as possible to pick a 5G-ready DAS. “We’re seeing kind of every six months now an iteration of what a new best-in-class system looks like,” he says. UL

TECHNOLOGY 2019

10/11/19 9:17 AM


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10/14/19 10:43 AM


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10/14/19 10:43 AM

Profile for Urban Land Magazine

Urban Land Tech Special Issue  

The cover package for the 2019 Tech special issue is titled “Technology: Searching for practical solutions.” Other topics include “Smart Cit...

Urban Land Tech Special Issue  

The cover package for the 2019 Tech special issue is titled “Technology: Searching for practical solutions.” Other topics include “Smart Cit...