On the plus side, there is no lack of awareness about the challenges our cities and communities are facing. But finding a solution will take collaboration and cooperation from governments, privately owned companies and the people that use our cities and spaces.
Enter public-private partnerships (PPP).
City leaders and private entities are showing an increasing interest in working together to drive urban regeneration that contributes transformational economic and social value for communities.
Building on discussions at its Urban Transformation Summit in Detroit in October 2022, the World Economic Forum is partnering with Avison Young to develop a taskforce to examine the challenges facing PPP participants in building effective social value objectives into their partnership agreements. The aim is to identify tools and resources which highlight best practice and aid in creating sustainable, good-quality places for people, and positive social outcomes for all.
Dr. Eime Tobari, Social Value Director at Avison Young, and Emily Ives, Research Analyst are spearheading the company’s leadership of the Driving Social Value In Urban Regeneration Taskforce.
“Real estate is more than just a collection of buildings and spaces. It’s part of the urban fabric that shapes our lives. Our industry has the potential to make a positive impact in places and communities we operate in. It also makes good business sense for everyone involved when you consider long-term effect of our day to day activities,” says Eime.
There is increasing recognition and importance being attached to social value – but social value creation is often seen as a cost burden by those in the private sector,” she explains.
Innovative forms of partnership between the two sectors are required to achieve both social value creation and commercial viability. That’s where the taskforce really comes into play.
“Through this initiative, we are addressing a critical knowledge gap in the emerging field of social value. Our research will help both public and private entities alike to structure urban regeneration projects that develop a stronger sense of place and community,” says Emily, whose role as a project Research Fellow involves coordinating day-to-day operations, conducting background research, and making connections with interviewees.
PPPs can be complex and require careful planning and management to ensure that all parties benefit from the partnership – and deliver on their commitments - over the long term. However, when done well, they can provide a way for governments to deliver important public services and infrastructure while also stimulating economic growth and development.