Episodes

  • The pandemic has had a huge impact on our built environment, but so too has the economic fallout. Any economic recovery, whenever or however it may come, is going to rely on our ability to create physical environments where we feel safe, as well as new business models that take account of our new reality.

    So in this episode we’ll be asking, “What now for the real estate sector?”

    And where might the opportunities lie for innovation in how we imagine, design and operate our buildings and physical assets?

    In this sixth and final episode of season one of Connected Places, Professor Greg Clark speaks to Rosemary Feenan, Executive Vice President of QuadReal how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the real estate sector and cities around the world.

    We’ll also be hearing from Yalena Coleman, Solution Architect for Applied Data & Technology at Connected Places. We’ll be talking about the Catapult’s Urban Technology Testbed, and how we’ve turned our own office building in London into a place of experimentation for businesses and innovators.

    Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (www.phillward.com)

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    Show notes

    Rosemary Feenan is Executive Vice President of QuadReal, a global real estate investment group headquartered in Vancouver. An expert on real estate futures, urbanisation, city competitiveness and technology in real estate, she was previously Director of Global Research Programmes at JLL. Rosemary has served on the Boards of Chesterton International, the Urban Land Institute, the Centre for Cities, and she sits on the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Cities and Urbanisation’ Council.

    Yalena Coleman is Solution Architect for Applied Data and Technology at the Connected Places Catapult. She has played a leading role in shaping the Catapult’s Urban Technology Testbed programme, which facilitates the testing of new and emerging technologies in the built environment and how data-driven decision making can be harnessed across the public and private sectors. Yalena has worked in multiple industries across the technology sector in Europe, Asia and Africa, including software development, IoT, digital strategy and cybersecurity.

    If you’d like to know more about QuadReal’s Oak Ridge development, you can learn more here.

    You can also learn more about the Catapult’s Urban Technology Testbed, as well as the Catapult’s approach to creating digital twins in the built environment, and a short video about our Advanced Building Information System.

    To learn more about what the Catapult is doing to support innovators and place leaders rise to the challenge of COVID-19, check out our Post-Pandemic Places Hub which explores the market opportunities the pandemic is creating or accelerating, including a briefing on the built environment which includes real estate and asset management.

    The Catapult has also published a new report looking at mental health and emotional wellbeing for city dwellers. You can read ‘Cities on the Couch’ by Prof. Sarah Niblock, Chief Executive of The UK Council for Psychotherapy by clicking here.

    To apply to be part of our upcoming MK:5G Accelerator Programme and the work we are doing with businesses working on 5g technology solutions, please click here.

    To register for a webinar on Glasgow’s Net-Zero Carbon ambitions, which the Catapult and the Centre for Liveable Cities are jointly hosting on 8th October, click here.

    To find out more about what we do at the Connected Places Catapult and to hear about the latest news, events and announcements, please sign up to our newsletter!

  • If there’s one place we’ve all been spending a lot more time in during lockdown, it’s our homes. As we’ve been spending more time in our home, many of us have been thinking about them more too, and whether the places where we live are adding or subtracting to the quality of our lives.

    So this week we’ll be asking, “What now for our homes and our wellbeing? And where might the opportunities lie for innovation in how we imagine, design and build the homes of the future?

    In this fifth episode of Connected Places, Professor Greg Clark speaks to Alexandra Notay, Director of Placemaking & Investment at PfP Capital about the UK’s growing build to rent sector and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the housing market.

    We meet Pam Alexander OBE, one of the UK’s leading housing, planning and regeneration experts, she also sits on a number of Boards, including Commonplace Digital, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the Connected Places Catapult.

    And we also meet Ed Warner, the UK Government Champion for the Design of Products and Places, and the CEO of Motionspot, a company specialising in accessible home design for disabled and older people.

    Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (www.phillward.com)

    Follow the show!

    Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Please also take a moment to write a review and rate us so that more people can hear about the podcast and what we do at Connected Places Catapult.

    Show notes

    Alexandra Notay is Placemaking and Investment Director at PfP Capital, the fund and asset management arm of Places for People Group, overseeing a UK-wide residential strategy. She is an internationally recognised expert on build to rent, placemaking and sustainable urban development, with strategic advisory experience to government, private sector and third sector organisations across four continents.

    Pam Alexander OBE is one of the UK’s leading housing, planning and regeneration experts. She has run the South East England Development Agency, the Housing Corporation and English Heritage, and she sits on a number of Boards, including Commonplace Digital, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board, and the Connected Places Catapult.

    Ed Warner is the CEO and Founder of Motionspot, an award-winning design company recognised by RIBA. He has worked with hundreds of homeowners, businesses, Occupational Therapists, architects and interior designers helping deliver beautifully designed access for all. In 2019 Ed was appointed UK Government Champion for the Design of Products and Places.

    To learn more about the Catapult’s Future of Housing Programme, and to access case studies, insights and numerous articles, click here. You can also download our report on Homes for Healthy Ageing which we released earlier this year.

    We’ll be announcing more about our housing programme in the coming months, and a good way to stay in touch is by joining our Housing Innovation LinkedIn Group.

    To learn more about what the Catapult is doing to support innovators and place leaders rise to the challenge of COVID-19, check out our Post-Pandemic Places Hub which explores the market opportunities the pandemic is creating or accelerating. If you found this episode on the future of public transport helpful.

    The Catapult has also published a new report looking at the future actions and opportunities for innovators across 3 post-pandemic horizons: the immediate response, restarting the economy and the long-term economic recovery. To read and download the full report, click here.

    To register your interest in our upcoming MK:5G Accelerator Programme and the work we are doing with businesses working on 5g technology solutions, please click here.

    To register for a free Raising Investment Masterclass that we’re running on 7th October for small and medium businesses, you can click here for more details on how to apply.

    To find out more about a joint initiative that the Catapult is running with the Department for Transport’s Future Aviation Security Solutions programme (S-TRIG) you can register here for an application support webinar we’re running on 30th September.

    To find out more about what we do at the Connected Places Catapult and to hear about the latest news, events and announcements – and please sign up to our newsletter!

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  • Some profound changes are happening in our city centres, and the pandemic is certainly playing a big part; activity and footfall in our shops, restaurants, and central business districts has plummeted in recent months.

    Yet some of these changes have been rumbling away for years – and they go to the heart of how we think about, imagine and experience the places where we live, work, travel, shop and socialise. In this episode we’ll be asking, “What now for our cities and city centres? And where might the opportunities lie for innovation and creativity and a new way of thinking about place?”

    In this fourth episode of Connected Places, Professor Greg Clark speaks to Miguel Gamino, Executive Vice President at Mastercard about the future of the city itself. We’ll also meet Dr. Julie Grail, a world renown expert in business improvement districts, urban governance and place-making, and the Managing Director of the BIDs Business.

    Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (www.phillward.com)

    Follow the show!

    Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Please also take a moment to write a review and rate us so that more people can hear about the podcast and what we do at Connected Places Catapult.

    Show notes

    Miguel Gamiño is Executive Vice President for Global Cities at Mastercard. Miguel leads Mastercard’s global activities with cities and the City Possible platform, forming public-private partnerships that drive civic efficiency, inclusivity, equality and ultimately better quality of life. Prior to joining Mastercard, Miguel served as the Chief Technology Officer for New York City, San Francisco and El Paso, Texas.

    Dr. Julie Grail is the Managing Director of the BIDs Business, a management consultancy specialising in Business Improvement Districts. She’s also the former CEO of British BIDs, and she’s a leading national and international commentator and expert on local business partnerships, urban governance and place management.

    If you’d like to learn more about the work that Miguel and his colleagues at Mastercard are pioneering with City Possible – a new urban innovation model in which is creating a global network of cities, businesses, academics and communities – you can find out more here.

    If you’d like to read the articles which Julie mentioned on the future of work and town centres, you can find out more at the BIDs Business where she regularly posts articles.

    To learn more about what the Catapult is doing to support innovators and place leaders rise to the challenge of COVID-19, check out our Post-Pandemic Places Hub which explores the market opportunities the pandemic is creating or accelerating. If you found this episode on the future of public transport helpful.

    The Catapult has also published a new report looking at the future actions and opportunities for innovators across 3 post-pandemic horizons: the immediate response, restarting the economy and the long-term economic recovery. To read and download the full report, click here.

    To register for our next Third Thursday on the 17th September, where we’ll be looking at the levelling-up lessons from Belfast, click here. To watch our recent Third Thursday webinar on Post-Pandemic Places, please click here.

    To register your interest in our upcoming MK:5G Accelerator Programme and the work we are doing with businesses working on 5g technology solutions, please click here.

    To register for our online Intellectual Property Masterclass that we’re running for small and medium sized businesses on 16th September, click here.

    To find out more about what we do at the Connected Places Catapult and to hear about the latest news, events and announcements – and please sign up to our newsletter!

    Discussion points:

    The future of cities & digitisation

    The experience of being a Chief Technology Officer in three US cities The ability of city government to execute and deliver with the private sector Developing an appreciation of public service Creating the City Possible learning community bringing together city leaders, innovators and academics from around the world Mobilising the private sector to develop high social impact solutions for cities The importance of city leaders and the public responding to new public health information The question of density and the pandemic and the management of scientific understanding People have left major cities around the world – how will they return? Second tier cities are well placed to compete with larger cities to offer higher quality of life Accelerating things that were already on the to do list, i.e. digitisation (contactless) is now a public health priority Next generation of urban technologies – autonomy, mobility and MaaS Shift to hyper digital - how to be effective and refocus on what’s important Hybrid ways of living, working and travelling Avoiding economic segregation and inequality by design

    The future of the town centre

    Heightened choice, mobility and disposable income has profoundly shaped our local places The power of online retail - traditional brands, new brands, Amazon, and the ‘global anywhere’ shop The town centre mix and diversity of offer has changed Overdevelopment of retail and food and beverage The impact of home-working on town centres and the future of work and changing commuting patterns The largest city centres are now the most vulnerable post-COVID The demographics of home-working and the implications for co-working in city centres The role of businesses in hearing the mood of local centres and working with innovators The importance of public sector partnerships and regulations and controls Using digital to enhance the shopping experience, online ordering and home design The development of omni-channel digital strategies for town centres Rebalancing the commercial element of the town centre for living communities The role of tactical urbanism and testbeds in innovating in town centres
  • As we gradually start getting back onto trains, buses, trams and tubes how will we get safely from A to B? What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for the future of mobility within and between places? And where might the opportunities lie for new innovations that could make these unprecedented disruptions more manageable?”

    In this third episode of Connected Places, Professor Greg Clark speaks to TC Chew, a globally renowned transport expert who leads Arup’s global rail business. We’ll meet Ben Plowden, Director at Transport for London who’s coordinating TfL’s COVID-19 Restart & Recovery Programme. We’ll also meet Nicolas LeGlatin, CEO of Open Space whose AI-enabled technology is helping rail operators monitor social distancing, and Alby Miller, Software Engineering Team Lead at the Catapult who’s helping businesses like Open Space develop potentially game-changing innovations in mobility.

    Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (www.phillward.com)

    Follow the show!

    Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Please also take a moment to write a review and rate us so that more people can hear about the podcast and what we do at Connected Places Catapult.

    Show notes

    TC Chew leads Arup’s global rail business where he specialises in rail transit systems, including high speed rail, metros, light and heavy rail. TC oversaw the delivery of Asia’s first fully automated underground heavy metro system in Singapore, several new railway lines on Hong Kong’s MTR, and the London Underground Victoria Line upgrade.

    Ben Plowden is the Coordination Director for Transport for London’s COVID-19 Restart and Recovery Programme and has extensive experience of the workings of both national and local government. Ben overseas TfL’s surface transport, the Mayor’s air quality programme, and major projects including the Silvertown Tunnel, the Rotherhithe/Canary Wharf river crossing and the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside.

    Nicolas LeGlatin is the CEO and Founder of Open Space; a company aiming to use digital twin technology to put people at the heart of the built environment. Nicolas is an experienced director who has worked in the architecture, engineering, construction and operations sectors. He specialises in developing and applying people modelling and simulation platform technology for the use of asset owners and operators.

    Alby Miller is Software Development Team Lead at the Connected Places Catapult. With a background in aeronautical engineering, he specialises in visualization-based software systems built around 3D environments and immersive technologies. Alby has led projects as diverse as BIM model management and federation, the development of GIS platforms, mobile games and the creation of city-scale VR environments.

    To learn more about Arup’s insights, as well as the ideas and issues shaping the future of rail and mobility around the world, check out what they are doing on Transformative rail, Future of Rail 2050 and the Future of transport.

    If you would like to know more about the collaboration between the Connected Places Catapult and the Open Space, you can read more here.

    Transport for London has published a number of publications and reports about how it’s responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including briefings for a range of different businesses. For more information, click here.

    To learn more about what the Catapult is doing to support innovators and place leaders rise to the challenge of COVID-19, check out our Post-Pandemic Places Hub which explores the market opportunities the pandemic is creating or accelerating. If you found this episode on the future of public transport helpful, then you can also learn more in our briefing on Post-Pandemic Mobility.

    To register for our next Virtual Connections Café focussing on mobility on 9th September at 10am UK time, click here.

    To register for a webinar on our HS2 Accelerator Programme being held on 10th September at 11am UK time, click here.

    To find out more about a joint initiative that the Catapult is running with the Department for Transport’s Future Aviation Security Solutions programme (S-TRIG) we’re running a webinar on 7th September and 2pm where you can find out more information by registering here.

    To register for our next Third Thursday on the 17th September, where we’ll be looking at the levelling-up lessons from Belfast, click here.

    If you’re a company that’s active in the mobility and transport sector and you’re like to attend our next Virtual Connections Café on the 9th September, you can register here.

    To watch our recent Third Thursday webinar on Post-Pandemic Places, please click here.

    To find out more about what we do at the Connected Places Catapult, visit our website for the latest news, events and announcements – and please sign up to our newsletter!

    Discussion points:

    Total systems approach to rail and mobility

    Modelling and sensing data is being used by transport operators around the world to understand new modes of mobility Hygiene and public health guidelines have also had a significant impact on transport operations The SARS pandemic has positioned many east Asian cities to better respond to COVID The need for human connectivity is likely to mean that connectivity will not decrease in the long run Demand could be boosted by a demand for lower carbon travel The railway, including freight, will be key to achieving net zero carbon emissions The total systems approach to rail is not a revolution, but the evolution of rail within wider systems Investors are focussing beyond build phase to the entire lifecycle of the asset We have to think beyond rail when thinking about mobility – station arrangements, road facilities etc. working in harmony with other modes. Digital technologies allow us to understand our assets in a better way and to also enhance both our asset management and our operational performance Place making requires an open mind to adapt to external changes using intelligence and data Integrated thinking about the needs of a greater city area and the transport requirements are critical – and this requires leadership across business, industry and local government

    Transport in London – COVID and beyond

    Mayor of London’s transport strategy, London’s mobility priorities and TfL’s business plan TfL’s restart and recovery and rebuild programme Restoring public trust and confidence in the public transport system Working with Boroughs, schools and communities across London The affect of COVID on different transport modes in London Avoiding a car-lead recovery Substantial reduction in transport authority income – closing the financial gap Reconfiguring the physical environment to enable social distancing Working with Boroughs to rethink the utilisation of public space, footways, cycle routes Predicting what will happen longer term is genuinely too difficult Innovation has two aspects: internal innovation within a transport authority, and enabling external innovation in the services they provide Mayor’s Transport Strategy very much guides the kind of innovation that TfL encourages For many cities the goals are still the same are they were 6 months ago – cutting carbon emissions, achieving equitable growth etc. and innovators need to respond to that. Most world cities are now broadly pursuing the same goals around sustainable transport, energy and economy. Optimising resources of a city and utilisation of assets is critical for innovation – how can we optimises scarce resources?
  • How does innovation happen in places? What does it mean for a place to be an innovation location? And how important is place when we think about the wider innovation economy, especially in the economic aftermath of a global pandemic?

    In this second episode of Connected Places, Professor Greg Clark speaks to Professor Peter Tyler from the University of Cambridge. We also meet Dr. Tim Moonan, Director of The Business of Cities – an urban research and intelligence group, and Dr. Amy Hochadel, Director of Global Business Growth at the Connected Places Catapult.

    Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (www.phillward.com)

    Follow the show!

    Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Please also take a moment to write a review and rate us so that more people can hear about the podcast and what we do at Connected Places Catapult.

    Show notes

    Professor Peter Tyler is a professor in urban and regional economics at the University of Cambridge. Pete has been an expert advisor to the UK government, the European Commission, the OECD and UN Habitat, and he has written extensively on urban economies, the performance of cities, and the UK’s industrial policy.

    Dr. Tim Moonan is the Managing Director of The Business of Cities. He has advised more than 30 global cities and regions to help senior teams review their strategies, leadership and policies. He has co-authored more than 50 reports and books on city competitiveness, governance and performance and he teaches executive-level education for international companies and universities.

    Dr. Amy Hochadel is the Director of Global Business Growth at the Connected Places Catapult. She works with local leaders, entrepreneurs, city and national governments around the world, including the Gulf states, South East Asia, India, Africa, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the USA.

    To download a copy of the Logic of Innovation Locations report, co-authored by the Connected Places Catapult and The Business of Cities, click here.

    To read more about how the Catapult worked with the Emirate of Sharjah, and to also download the Sharjah Champion Toolkit for innovation locations, click here.

    To register for our next Third Thursday on the 17th September, where we’ll be looking at the levelling-up lessons from Belfast, click here.

    If you’re a company that’s active in the mobility and transport sector and you’re like to attend our next Virtual Connections Café on the 9th September, you can register here.

    To watch our recent Third Thursday webinar on Post-Pandemic Places, please click here.

    To find out more about what we do at the Connected Places Catapult, visit our website for the latest news, events and announcements – and please sign up to our newsletter!

    Discussion points

    The role of place in the innovation economy

    Places need to understand their competitive advantages and connectivity across a region or a country is vital for the innovation economy. COVID-19 is unlikely to fundamentally change the need for clustering in the innovation economy. Productivity variations are not just between sectors, but within sectors and businesses. Businesses need to be able to access innovation and new ways of working Timing is crucial for the levelling-up agenda, particularly for businesses and places beyond the South East of the UK. Local industrial strategies are critical in keeping businesses in play, while also becoming more innovative. It’s more than just a north-south divide in the UK. Most British cities have been affected by this, but northern cities have a chance to catch up. Levelling up requires both resources and fundamental institutional change. The convergence of ICT, bio-science and nano-science are one particularly strong area for the UK The UK needs to be develop a much stronger interface between busines, industry and local leadership. Devolution is critical to this and the UK could learn a lot from the German model. The four critical factors in innovation economies are businesses, investors, knowledge institutions and places themselves. Innovation happens best and the boundaries of these. Places make it possible for the interactions that create business success “to be in the air”.

    Understanding innovation locations

    Places need to audit their advantages and opportunities – are they attracting innovation from beyond, or growing it internally? Creating the right physical and institutional structures that connect businesses and information is critical Enabling the right relationships to develop between people is also vital Understanding the unique attributes of places is critical for policy makers There are long corridors that can become focusses of innovation in some places, but in others it can be individual streets and city blocks Tailoring scale, location and the fabric of place to innovation requirements is vital The economic recovery will require us to rethink the city centre Mitigating downside risks, protecting key systems and promoting human health Working more cohesively at the regional level will be crucial for place leaders 2nd and 3rd tiers cities will need to position themselves more boldly and have the opportunity to make great strides; Greater Manchester, Toulouse, Lyon, Hamburg and Munich are ones to watch. Small cities (200-500k size) have an opportunity to become more global in their innovation economies We’re likely to see more of a merge between the science and creative sectors in the innovation economy Logistics is also a huge opportunity for innovation within cities, particularly the ‘last mile’ element. Understanding the ‘personality’ of locations has been critical to the Catapult’s understanding of innovation around the world: assets and infrastructure, business environment, vision and leadership. It’s also important to understand different types of locations and where they are at in their journey: this is critical for a convening organisation like the Catapult, when connecting companies and innovators with the right locations.
  • Where is the digitisation of the planning system taking us? What skills will the planner of the future need? And how is COVID-19 changing how we think about the places where we live, work and travel?

    In this first – extended – episode of Connected Places, Professor Greg Clark speaks to the most recent Chief Planner for England, Steve Quartermain CBE as well as the Chief Planner for Singapore, Hwang Yu-Ning.

    We also meet Darshana Chauhan, Founder of Coplug, a UK company specialising in social infrastructure demand management, and Nissa Shahid, Senior Urbanist and Chartered Planner at the Connected Places Catapult.

    Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (www.phillward.com)

    ***SHOW NOTES***

    Steve Quartermain CBE recently stepped down as Chief Planner at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government after 12 years in the role. His career in local government has included Epping Forrest, Dartford and Yorkshire and he has also served as President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

    Hwang Yu-Ning is the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Planner at the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Singapore. Yu-Ning has also held senior positions in Singapore’s National Ministry of Development and the Prime Minister’s Office. She also serves as governing trustees on the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and co-chairs ULI Singapore’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.

    Darshana Gothi Chauhan is founder of Coplug, a qualified architect and urban designer with a specialisation in spatial data analytics, digital frameworks, that citizen-centred design. She is also the founder of DesTech - a competition that brings together creative thinking and digital innovation in the built environment, with an outreach in over 200 colleges and universities across South Asia.

    Nissa Shahid is a Senior Urbanist at the Connected Places Catapult, and a Chartered Planner, where she specialises in spatial data, GIS applications, planning policy and strategy development. She has worked across the private and third sectors and played a key role in the Catapult’s early work on PlanTech.

    For more information about the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s proposals to reform the planning system, click here.

    If you would like to get involved with the Catapult’s PlanTech Challenge, click here for more information about the scheme, the benefits to participating local authorities and contact details.

    We also mentioned the shared vision and principles of the future of planning that we developed with the RTPI. You can read more here about the vision and its underpinning principles.

    To watch our recent Third Thursday webinar on Post-Pandemic Places, please click here.

    To find out more about what we do at the Connected Places Catapult, visit our website for the latest news, events and announcements. And please sign up to our newsletter!

  • Welcome to Connected Places!

    In season 1 we'll be trying to understand what a post-COVID world means for our towns and cities, housing, real estate, planning, transport systems, and innovation economies. Join Professor Greg Clark as he speaks to leaders from around the world about the places of tomorrow.

    Music on this episode is by Phill Ward Music (www.phillward.com)