Last night we hosted a panel discussion organized by RealWorth and Social Value UK that questioned if the property industry should change how it measures and values impact by including social and environmental factors as well as financial metrics.
The event opened with remarks from U+I's Head of Delivery, Mark Richardson. Mark then joined a lively panel debate alongside: Jonathan Schifferes, Associate Director of Public Services and Communities at the RSA; Vincent Neat, Founder and Director of Relationship Capital Strategies Limited; Linda Thiel, Director of London Studio and Partner at White Arkitekter; and finally, Professor Erik Bichard, Director of RealWorth.
The purpose of the event was to kick-start the debate on the way development is valued, and to change the conversation to one about holistic value – social, environmental and financial – communicating the importance of delivering projects that deliver on all three fronts.
Creating places that benefit both the bottom line as well as the communities we operate in is central to our ethos. Mark Richardson opened by remarking: "As a developer that believes it has a genuine connection with the communities we work, how we measure social value is key."
We would like to thank Real Worth and Social Value UK for this great event. We hope it works to bring about a wider debate inside the industry about how we can all harness our projects to emphasise societal benefits as much as financial returns. As U+I's Mark Richardson put it: "Wouldn't it be great if we could look back at schemes in 10-20 years with pride, having brought long lasting social value to a community: where people feel safe, where the over 55's live comfortably alongside the young and millennials are not the only generation considered"
The event organizers are holding a similar event in Manchester on the 13th June. They are asking people to take part in a short survey to help inform future discussion on the topic: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2SFS9F6