Search Results for: smart cities

Study shows how a green city in the desert still has much to teach the world

Study shows how a green city in the desert still has much to teach the world 0

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masdar-green-cityA much publicised but occasionally troubled green city in the United Arab Emirates without light switches or water taps has much to teach people around the world about saving energy and precious resources, claims a new study from researchers at Birmingham University. With its low-rise and energy efficient buildings, smart metering, excellent public transport and extensive use of renewable energy, the 2,000 citizens of Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, are living in a place which is a ‘green’ example to city planners around the globe, claims the report. There are no light switches or water taps in Masdar City. Movement sensors control lighting and water in order to cut electricity and water consumption by 51 percent and 55 percent respectively. Masdar is a mixed use development that is the world’s first city designed to be ‘zero carbon’ and ‘zero waste’. Masdar City is a large-scale mixed use development which lies 17 kilometres south-east of the city of Abu Dhabi.

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Corporate real estate sector needs to step up to meet new challenges

Corporate real estate sector needs to step up to meet new challenges 0

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US corporate real estateThe corporate real estate profession will be influenced, disrupted and transformed in the years ahead by a powerful combination of forces that are re-shaping business strategy and operations, consumer preferences, and how and where people want to live and work, according to a new report from CoreNet Global. The Bigger Picture: The Future of Corporate Real Estate draws on the expertise of more than 30 thought leaders to provide insights from multiple perspectives beyond CRE: technology and the internet of things; risk mitigation; cyber security; environment, energy and sustainability; corporate social responsibility; the global economy; people, talent, wellbeing; and the future of cities. The report argues that CRE must deliver greater value in this dynamic business environment and a world that is changing rapidly, is more interconnected than ever before, is constantly disrupted by technological innovation, and is replete with both risks and opportunities.

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The nine workplace trends every organisation must learn to address

The nine workplace trends every organisation must learn to address 0

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Workplace trendsThe latest company to set out its vision of workplace trends is food services provider Sodexo. The company’s 2016 Workplace Trends Report suggests there are nine key areas that managers should address, each linked by the common theme of striking the right balance between the organisation’s commercial objectives and the needs of its stakeholders. The report is a detailed meta-analysis based on primary research, client feedback and research from academics, trade associations and FM providers. The report covers the most talked about themes in workplace design and management including wellness, work-life balance, diversity, green building and workforce engagement. The authors acknowledge the challenge firms face in striking the balance between these complex and conflicting demands and call for an ‘holistic’ approach to resolve them (which may suggest they have as much of an idea about the right answers as anybody else).

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Regional office take up in 2015 is 20 percent above the five year average

Regional office take up in 2015 is 20 percent above the five year average 0

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Manchester city centreThe UK’s regional commercial property market has continued to improve on last year’s record levels of occupational take-up, with 9.6 million sq ft transacted in the Big Nine city centre and out-of-town markets during 2015, 20 percent above the five year average. According to Bilfinger GVA’s quarterly review of the regional office occupier markets this is the fourth consecutive annual increase in take-up and compares to an average of 6.6 million sq ft during the downturn years of 2009 to 2012. Take-up over the year was well above average in Birmingham and Manchester in both the city centre and out-of-town markets. Other markets where activity was well above average include Cardiff and Leeds city centres and the suburbs of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Fourth quarter take-up was dominated by above average activity in most city centres and a number of large deals in Edinburgh out-of-town.

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A round-up of stories you may have missed on your way back to work

A round-up of stories you may have missed on your way back to work 0

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workplace designStill catching up after the holidays? So are we. Here are seven recent stories we loved belatedly and think you will too. 1. GM is set to stake its claim as part of the nascent network of self driving cars. 2. Yet another round-up of 2016 trends, this time focussed on HR. 3. A new initiative attempts to cement the UK’s position at the frontier of the smart city movement. 4. A film about the world’s ongoing love hate relationship with the office cubicle. Mostly hate. 5. A reminder to architects that they need to think about the design of sound, too. 6. A look back at the year in which sit-stand desks finally made their mark (just don’t mention the countries that have loved them for years in the non English speaking parts of Northern Europe). 7. Goldman Sachs produce an interesting chart about the fall in space per worker, but provoke a possibly faulty conclusion from the author. Just because people are given less space, doesn’t mean the office is dying. Main image courtesy of Herman Miller.

Car sharing and longer commutes are the keys to workforce mobility

Car sharing and longer commutes are the keys to workforce mobility 0

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Car sharingThe Government should introduce new policies to incentivise people to car share and travel further afield to find work. Those are two of the key finding of a new report, On The Move, from the think tank Policy Exchange which sets out ways to improve the mobility of the British workforce. Making it easier for people to commute twenty minutes further afield would put them in touch with at least one additional major urban area and potentially 10,000 more job opportunities, according to the report. Additionally, it suggests that drivers who offer fellow commuters a lift should be given a tax break. The authors claim that in a third of local authorities that make up the eight city regions no major employment sites (defined as having 5,000 or more jobs) are within a twenty minute commute by public transport and 80 percent of these Local Authorities have an unemployment rate above the national average.

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London transport shuts down ….. agile workers unaffected …..

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agile workers tube strikeLondon’s Financial Times reported this morning, “The worst London Underground strike in more than a decade saw millions of Londoners struggle to get to work”. It is chaos, here in the UK capital – the top global city in PwC’s Cities of Opportunity ranking. It is a sorry state of affairs, as in a scene reminiscent of 1970s union-crippled Britain, the “workers” representatives couldn’t agree with “the management”. “Workers” and “management”…we thought we had overcome that particular divide in business and society, didn’t we? But, some people have a vested interest in keeping it very much alive. In the large, industrialized, unionized industries such as transport, it lives on. Only last year, UNITE union leader Len McCluskey addressed his supporters in Liverpool as “sisters and brothers” like some mid-20th century socialist (which, of course, he is).

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The London Festival of Architecture explores the workplace of the future

The London Festival of Architecture explores the workplace of the future

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Alcove Plume Contract Metal Side Table workplace of the futureThe ongoing London Festival of Architecture (LFA) which is running for the entire month of June, continues what the organisers say are the ‘big workplace conversations’ with a week of focussed discussions, debates and contributions from a number of prominent designers, architects and industry commentators on the theme of the workplace of the future. Running in tandem with London Technology Week (15-21 June), week three of the festival will focus on what the organisers claim are several ‘game-changing’ workplaces as well as the smart technologies and architecture already being created by industry leaders shaping where we work, how we work and what the next generation office and employee will need. Exclusive access will also be given into the practices realising the new models of the workplace through the RIBA Open Studios programme.

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The world’s enduring addiction to the joy and misery of commuting

The world’s enduring addiction to the joy and misery of commuting

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CommutingCommuting is one of the most complained about yet least explored facets of our working lives. This is in spite of the fact that it consumes so much of people’s time, energy and money, is presented as one of the main arguments for more flexible working practices and is so closely linked to our wellbeing. Yet the half a billion – and growing – commuters worldwide could be forgiven for assuming nobody is really that much interested in the effects of their daily grind into work, especially when you consider the attention given to other workplace issues. Douglas Langmead in his feature on page 32 of the new issue of Work&Place does his bit to redress this imbalance with a fascinating look at commuting in the rapidly developing and endlessly fascinating economies of the United Arab Emirates.

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Development of urban infrastructure held back by city leaders

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Urban infrastructureThe main obstacles to the implementation of urban infrastructure are those raised by the organisations and people who do most to champion them. That is the standout finding of a new report, Urban Infrastructure Insights 2015, published by the Economic Intelligence Unit and FCC Group. The survey of more than 400 business leaders and policy makers worldwide found that a majority believe the greatest impediment to the development of urban infrastructure is a lack of will and skill amongst civic leaders and officials. Lack of political will was cited by 40 percent of respondents, alongside a lack of skills among officials (39 percent), and poor governmental effectiveness (34 percent). Lack of funds was cited by 34 percent. Policy makers were especially scathing about city leaders with more than half citing their lack of skills and knowledge.

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Digital revolution continues to transform the way we work

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Old-Street-TechhubThe full extent of the way digital technology is transforming British working life is apparent in new research published by Brunel University. The study – essentially a snapshot of the digital revolution in 2015 – found that 98 percent of the 830 businesses surveyed have a website, 8 in 10 manage finances online, 53 percent provide flexible working and 63 percent see innovation as a way to improve customer satisfaction. However, the study also reveals a major gulf between big business and SMEs, with larger firms significantly more digitised than their smaller contemporaries. This raises concerns over the preparedness  of the SME sector at a time when the Government’s growth agenda has prioritised nurturing and supporting new and evolving enterprises – and for whom the digital battleground has broken down traditional barriers to entry.

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Hotels allocating more public space to meet the needs of business travellers

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Business TravellersPresenteeism isn’t restricted to the workplace. Growing demand from business travellers means hotels are increasing the amount of working and meeting space they provide in their facilities in cities across Europe and the rest of the world. Three quarters of British employees work while staying in a hotel according to the survey carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute on behalf of hotel business solutions firm HRS. Only Italians spend more time working in hotels (76 percent), followed the UK (75 percent), Poland and Switzerland (50 percent respectively), Germany (46 percent), China (45 percent), Russia (43 percent), Austria (42 percent) and France (25 percent). The firm has also identified a number of hotels around the world which it believes offers exemplars of the new working spaces available.

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