I was interested in your article about how real estate is responding to the tech effect in Tel Aviv and Berlin (06.03.15).
I agree that landlords and developers must adapt to offer the tech community a ‘digital’ ecosystem that they can plug into and be a part of, in order to grow and attract new talent and investment.
We need to take this one step further, though. Simply put, a single developer cannot build a community on its own - there has to be real collaboration between the real estate industry and community stakeholders for a city vision to come to life.
A rapidly growing sector, the tech community is driven by brilliant, ambitious urbanites who rely on networks and sharing knowledge and want to interact with and truly feel a part of their urban community. Therefore, as developers we cannot simply churn out workspaces that, while aesthetically pleasing, are in themselves not adding to this sense of belonging. Creating spaces where people can connect outside the workspace is key to nurturing this; beyond the complementary retail, leisure and tourism offer, we also need animated and engaging street-scapes that interlink buildings and creatively utilise public realm.
Stockholm is a city that is very much at the forefront of the tech revolution with communities like SUP46 (Start-Up People of Sweden) and Epicenter Stockholm (a members-only innovation hub) and we recognise that creating a space for the tech community is vital for the city’s future.
Epicenter is a key element of our current project Urban Escape Stockholm, where we have worked alongside tenants, the city government and adjacent landowners to truly understand how a future Stockholm city centre will operate, taking a more city-wide view to enriching the physical connection between buildings and creating new spaces that serve the community.
I want to encourage others to take this approach, recognising a shared responsibility to safeguarding our cities and creating thriving urban communities.
Karolin Forsling, chief development officer, AMF Fastigheter