September 30, 2020updated 02 Oct 2020 10:39am

Future of cities and business post Covid-19: Free virtual events at Barcelona New Economy Week

The future of cities and the property market will be one of the key topics debated at Barcelona New Economy Week (BNEW).

BNEW will run from 6–9 October and will offer insight from 350 speakers on how businesses can bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It will feature top speakers from the business sectors of real estate, logistics, digital industry, e-commerce and economic zones.

The hybrid, business-to-business event – which will take place in physical and virtual forms – is organised by Consorci de la Zona Franca (CZFB) and will showcase the way in which Barcelona is preparing for the post-Covid world and the ‘new economy’. It is the city’s first big business event of the year and aims to help revitalise and restart the local economy.

The conference will encompass five interconnected events in the fields of real estate, logistics, digital industry, e-commerce and economic zones. More than 8,000 professionals from all over the world will take part. BNEW Real Estate event will take place at Estació de França, an open, digital space, committed to the UN 2030 Agenda.

“During the past four years, Barcelona has been one of the European cities with the best fundamentals in commercial real estate,” said Xavier Güell, managing director at CBRE, the international commercial real estate group, in Barcelona. “When the current Covid-19 situation starts to dissolve, Barcelona will continue on that good trend, so those who take advantage of the deceleration and offer the most competitive opportunities will have excellent returns in the future.

“I do believe Covid-19 will have an impact on our cities. The successful trends will be those driven by placing employees at the centre of any decision making. So, for instance, companies will no longer have a head office in a central location but instead will have smaller offices located across those areas with the highest density of employees living there, thereby reducing commuting times and improving their work-life balance.”

He added: ““In crucial moments like now – when a new global model is being created by all of us – it’s really important to have this kind of powerful open forum, so we can define together the future vision of the real estate market.”

BNEW Real Estate event will host panel discussions under general themes including Bsustainable, Bstrategic, Bprepared, Bcreative, Bfuture, Binvest and Btoday about topics including how Barcelona will remain a resilient city; the role of real estate websites during the coronavirus; teleworking and Covid-19; the future of offices; hotels as a model of flexible building; and challenges in real estate to mitigate climate change.

Inspirational talks will include:

  • ‘The era of humankind towards the 5th industrial revolution’ by Marc Vidal, a digital transformation expert
  • The ‘human future of cities: technology and liquid society’ by Jorge Alonso, an architect and urban planner
  • ‘Rational optimism’ by Luca Lazzarini, a commercial communications expert
  • And ‘future smart cities’ challenges & opportunities’ by Alicia Asín, an expert on artificial intelligence

BNEW is described as a new way of developing your know-how, expanding your networks, and promoting innovation and talent.

Verdict readers can sign up for BNEW for free via this link and using the promo code BNEWFREE.