Lendlease Boss Says Regeneration of Major Cities Needs to Leave a Positive Legacy

By District Energy posted 10-07-2019 11:44


Property Investor Today


The global head of Lendlease has called for an end to what he has described as an often unhealthy and politically charged approach to the regeneration of major cities.

Steve McCann, in a keynote speech to business leaders in London, called for change and said that his industry has a responsibility to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

McCann, the boss of the international property and infrastructure business, which is headquartered in Sydney but with an £18.8 billion development pipeline of work within Europe, said increasing urban migration is leading to major social and environmental challenges. And, further to this, he argued that the complexity of those challenges lies well beyond the power of any individual, community, company or government to solve on its own.

According to McCann’s philosophy, large-scale and mixed-use developments that attract vibrant communities can help address the challenges posed. He also believes, though, that big firms involved in this type of project must always bear in mind their social responsibilities.

In London, the Mayor Sadiq Khan is of the belief that the UK’s capital city needs to build 66,000 new homes a year to keep up with demand, with every single one of these homes requiring energy, water, digital connectivity and transport links. Without a long-term plan to provide that infrastructure, McCann claims that our cities will falter.

“While everyone agrees on the scale and urgency of the problem, very few agree on how to solve it,” McCann said in his speech to the Australian-British Infrastructure Catalyst.

“Private companies, government and communities are all too often at loggerheads, locked in unhealthy battles played out in traditional and social media, and the dialogue is frequently polarised and politically charged.”

His vision is for a more collaborative approach. “We need to recognise that no-one builds anything substantial alone. So much is changing – social, political, economic, cultural norms that have been in place for decades or even centuries are being swept aside.

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