Latest News | 13 July 2022

A global outlook can help tackle repurposing challenge

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An expert in foreign direct investment has told the Derby Property Summit that looking to cities around the world can help others come up with a repurposing strategy.

Speaking at the summit, Courtney Fingar, editor in chief of Global Data’s Investment Monitor, advised that cities should not be “overly reactive” to the changes that have taken place in the way people live and work.

She believes that a balanced and considered approach needs to be taken – and that cities should be prepared to be “adaptive and flexible”.

She said: “Those cities that are coping the best with repurposing aren’t overthinking, they’re taking a step back, acknowledging that things have changed and seeing where new opportunities lie.

“Cities should think about where will be in five- or 10-years’ time.

“There is no right answer to this. Putting your head in the sand is not the answer, neither is being overly reactive. The middle ground is the safest place to be.”

In her address, Courtney shared insights into the global foreign direct investment landscape – and the challenges faced, such as the post-pandemic era, the war in Ukraine, the race to net zero and the ‘dispersal’ of the talent pool.

She said: “Customers and talent are the main FDI drivers. Investment goes to where the talent is. However, since the pandemic that talent has been dispersed.

“Cities are the major areas for FDI – but they need to be attuned to how the workforce is changing. They need to be fit for purpose in terms of how people are living and working now and in the future.

“And if we rethink the role of the office, then we have to rethink the role of everything around it, many leisure and entertainment facilities were created specifically around offices.”

Courtney stressed that this was not just an issue facing Derby – she said that cities in countries across the world were grappling with the same challenges.

She said: “The answer could be to look internationally at what cities the same size as Derby are doing and exchange best practice.”

To watch Courtney’s presentation and the rest of the Derby Property Summit please click here.

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