Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 51

THE ANGLE By Tero Estovirta The writer is Managing Director of NCC Property Development Oy What is City Development? Facing today’s challenges and tomorrow’s visions of City Development Understanding City Development requires an appreciation of the broader context. It all starts with the global location, continues to the city, the specific area and down to the plot or real estate and all in this order. It is like the question: “What is the purpose of existence?” T oday’s world’s versatile know-how is the only way to manage sustainability and liveability. All information needs to be shared. Success is measured by people’s ability to co-operate and combine versatile know-how information. It is not about finding totally new innovations, but, rather, about combining existing ones in a more creative way. Timing and narrow-minded thinking are the basic challenges. Trust and confidence are the key success factors. Instead of looking at only people’s technical competences, we should also start looking for innovations and co-operation skills. The likelihood to get through issues that you deem important, rises when your ability to co-operate is high. The problem with timing is not overestimated. As we have seen, market situations vary faster and faster. For example, the zoning process, which usually takes years to complete, can mean that opportunities will pass in a rapidly changing economic environment. Some say that the best opportunities need time. This is true, but when is the right time? New opportunities will arise every day. We should be able to perform throughout the summer and the winter, what are we waiting for? All decisions are made with the best possible information available at the time; no one deliberately wants to make bad decisions. Long-term planning is where all City Development starts. We should put efforts into defining frames and then stick to them. This is how resources can be effectively allocated. Another problem is that we jump into the fine details immediately. That also takes away the possibilities to develop things during the time given. For example, zoning plans that are too detailed may already be old by the time they become valid. In Finland, the legislation gives us more opportunities than we even realize, it’s all