If a tree falls in a forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? According to the famous philosophical thought experiment, it is impossible to know. In the same way, you might ask if a space never visited can ever be a place. Perhaps not; unless, that is, someone recognises it, holds it in mind, gives it some meaning. Yet every space has a story to tell. The question is, how do we make sure we are listening?
Cities sprawl. They are living, breathing entities; never a single story, always a multitude of narratives layering one on another other through unpredictably connected and disparate routes. There are countless authors of every city’s story, including those of us working in commercial property development. Our sector is a vital contributor to the life of cities, infusing them with energy and opportunity in business and the built environment. Like everything else, commercial property has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, but alongside an understandable focus on the prospects for leases and rents I see a growing appetite for a new quality of thinking.