REthinking Real Estate, suspended railways and BIG tunnels!

As we hurtle towards the middle of the year and are now passed the longest day of the year it feels like on the horizon things are getting better. Me for one are looking forward to some time off over the summer to spend with family and friends. 

In development news this caught my attention. A suspended sky-railway in Dubai. Some would say so what! To me this just feels very futuristic. I remember watching films as a child and this sort of invention/transportation was used. There, to me, has always been a double edged sword with public transport. To get more people to use it you need a transport network that provides many options. Living in a town with 2 trains an hour – one in either direction – doesn’t inspire me to want to catch the train! By moving the transport off the road (and into the air) you could create capacity that is not restricted by cars. And presumably the transport would be green!

And linked but in the world of infrastructure this is a great video exploring the external challenge – how do you get over the Alps in a cost-efficient way! Well, simple – you build a $11bn tunnel through them! The $11BN Tunnel Connecting Scandinavia to the Mediterranean is ongoing and provides significant challenges but also shows how civil engineers and may others can work together to solve problems in the built environment. 

But meanwhile Construction has an image problem that is harming recruitment. We have to change. An interesting read from James Wates in Building. Construction has many good qualities but there are some challenges in the sector such as diversity and other outdated mindsets which may deter talent from looking to join the industry. In a sector that is struggling from a skills shortage it really can’t afford to be putting people off! With a need to adopt more technological advances there needs to be a broader pool of people. 

In the ears this week has been the Beyond 1% Podcast by McAlpine. It is great to see a contractor focusing on some of the big issues in these podcasts and now looking to focus on sustainability. The sector is renowned for being bad for the climate so having clear leadership here on these topics is great (and doing so with a diversity of people). 

And finally this blog by Antony Slumbers discusses The Real Innovation Academy. Bringing together imaginative & creative thinkers from real estate. I have been unable to join a cohort to date juggling work and family responsibilities during the last 16 months but looking forward to that changing in the Autumn. The discussions from both sides of the equation show how much there is a need for innovation in the sector – to think differently to solve problems, in fact remove problems and see opportunities instead. 

So it’s been an interesting week. Here’s to the weekend! 

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