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.

Project lead

Upcoming webinar 

About the series



Dr. Sara Özogul


Nagwa Kady


Prof. Dr. Tuna Tasan-Kok


Champaka Rajagopal

Institutional partners

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African Real Estate Society


Future Leaders of the African Real Estate Society

AESOP (Association of European Schools of Planning) Young Academics Network

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ERES (European Real Estate Society) PhD Network


Latin American Real Estate Society

Individual partners

  • Changing Real Estate Dynamics and New Roles for Urban Policymakers and Planners
    Online Zoom Webinar
    May 25, 5:00 PM GMT+2
    Online Zoom Webinar
    This webinar session focusses on shifts in the real estate industry due to Covid19, and the role of urban policymakers and planners amidst these changes.
  • New Dependencies between Public Sector and Real Estate Industry Actors in Response to Covid19
    Online Zoom Webinar
    Jun 22, 5:00 PM GMT+2
    Online Zoom Webinar
    This session focuses on how Covid19 has re-emphasized the importance of public private partnerships and creates new dependencies between public and private sectors.
  • (Mis)matches between Urban Policies and Real Estate Industry Responses to Covid19
    Online Zoom Webinar
    Sep 18, 5:00 PM
    Online Zoom Webinar
    This session focusses on the varying speeds, matches and mismatches between local governments and real estate industry actors’ responses to new conditions triggered by Covid19.
  • Institutional Learning for Post-Covid19 Urban Development
    Online Zoom Webinar
    Nov 13, 5:00 PM
    Online Zoom Webinar
    This session focusses on land market distortions caused by stakeholder relations, and why post-Covid19 institutional unlearning must pave the way to ushering shifts in practices, norms and behaviour of actors involved in real estate and local governments

Andre Legarza


Brian Jennett


Prof. Dr. Ed Nozeman


Elliott Hale


Dr. Fuad Malkawi


Prof. Dr. Isil Erol


Prof. Dr. Michael Ball



Connect21 has been generously funded by the University of Amsterdam's Centre for Urban Studies as part of the Seed Grant XL for "Levelling the Playing-Field of Urban Planning: Co-producing and Commoning Property Market Knowledge."