Connect21: Bridging Multiple Knowledge Gaps in Global Urban Real Estate Research
Real estate investment and development are key processes and contentions that shape contemporary cities. While the key players in these processes – investors, developers, urban policymakers and planners – received heightened attention in Urban Studies in recent years, the discipline continues to grapple with the complexity and fast-paced nature of the real estate industry. Global investments into built environments and particularly the financialisation of urban development are addressed across various contexts in the global North and South (Robinson et al. 2020). However, literature on this topic has been critiqued for its limited empirical base (Crosby and Henneberry 2016), its poor differentiation between types of developers (Ballard and Butcher 2019) and investors (Özogul and Tasan-Kok 2020), and its oversimplification of investment decisions by private sector actors (Raco et al. 2019). Furthermore, data and knowledge of the real estate industry itself is often either inaccessible or overlooked by academics.
Connect21 aims to address multiple knowledge gaps on the real estate industry in the wider Urban Studies by establishing an interdisciplinary and interprofessional network of Urban Studies, Planning and Real Estate scholars, and professional real estate organisations to collaboratively develop four public webinars and two early-career seminars.The Connect21 webinars tackle new urban development dynamics instigated by the Covid19 pandemic. The Connect21 early-career seminars provide individualised feedback and support to early-career researchers working at the intersection of Urban Studies, Planning and Real Estate to support establishing a new generation of scholars who skilfully bridge interdisciplinary divides.