It’s that time of year again when half the industry is preparing to decamp to the south of France for the annual jamboree that is Mipim - and the other half is thanking its lucky stars it isn’t.
It will be interesting to see what the mood is like at this year’s event, the first major gathering of the great and the good of the property industry since the EU referendum.
I doubt that the damp squib (or damp squid, as one PR put it more entertainingly) of this week’s Budget will be high on anyone’s agenda. No one was expecting much from it and they got even less than that, with nothing of note on business rates - despite the growing clamour of calls for action in the run up - and diddly-squat on stamp duty.
I doubt that the damp squib of this week’s Budget will be high on anyone’s agenda
Luckily, there will be a second Budget, in November.
The problem with a campaign like Call Off Duty is that you can succeed in getting the government to listen to industry concerns, but getting it to introduce measures that are not necessarily an easy sell to the general public is a whole other matter.
It’s a shame because while the perception is that the industry is full of filthy rich folk - a perception not helped by events such as Mipim - the reality is far more complex. Yes, the most powerful people tend to be wealthy, but with great power comes great responsibility, and in the years since the global financial crisis, more have shouldered, even embraced, that responsibility.
Power to the people
It is with this new breed of power players, entrepreneurs and disruptors in mind that we have teamed up with Dentons and Malcolm Hollis to launch our inaugural Power100 list.
We are looking to rank the 100 most powerful people in the industry and we need your help with this. You can nominate a friend, a colleague, a rival, even yourself, but only those who wield true power will make it into the final 100, which will be decided by a panel of industry heavyweights and unveiled in June.
The list will no doubt include people who have made their mark with major regeneration schemes - the perfect manifestation of power wielded responsibly.
Of course, regeneration has not just been driving the development agenda in the UK. It has been a recurring theme across Europe.
That is why in this week’s special international issue we report on the innovative conversion of a former prison in Amsterdam, assess the after-effects of the devastating earthquakes in Italy (I recommend you check out the fully interactive version of this story online) and tell the story of the rebuilding of war-torn Sarajevo.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the start of that brutal war and the scars can still be seen on many buildings in the city. The green shoots of recovery serve as a timely reminder of the transformative power of property-driven regeneration and reconstruction - something the industry’s detractors should perhaps think about before they have a pop at people on the pop in Mipim.