13th March 2019

A packed first day at MIPIM 2019

Day one saw a jam packed schedule for Founding Directors Julian Broster and Stephen O’Malley at MIPIM yesterday. Attending with both the Scotland and Manchester delegations, Tuesday was a day of panel discussions and meetings, as well as the Manchester dinner.

Stephen took part in the panel that opened the discussions in the Scottish Pavilion. Alongside Glasgow City Council Leader, Susan Aitken, GCC Chief Executive AnneMarie O’Donnell  the focus was on how Glasgow is a great European city that is open for business. As part of the discussion, Stephen spoke about the Glasgow City Council ‘Avenues’ project which will see key city centre streets redesigned to protect and prioritise space for cyclists and pedestrians, improve connectivity, introduce sustainable green infrastructure through attractive streetscapes and improve the way public transport is accommodated. Cllr Aitken emphasised the importance of a refocus on the responsiveness of planning, connectivity and place-making, she also referred to the ‘Avenues’ project as ‘the most transformative project for a generation.”

Later in the day, Stephen took to the stand again but this time in the Manchester Pavilion. The panel, which included James Heather, U+I, David Rudlin from Urbed, Maria Vassilakou, Deputy Mayor of Vienna, with opening and closing remarks by Joanne Roney OBE and moderated by Place Northwest’s Jessica Middleton-Pugh, discussed the Mayfield development located close to Piccadilly Station. The specific focus of the discussion was about #Parklife. Given that Mayfield will have a 6.5 acre park, which will be the first park to be created in Manchester for over 100 years, the panel discussed the importance of green space and explored how people feel about this, the difference it makes to a city and the challenges of creating it. Maria shared her experiences of Vienna and the importance of us “rethinking our streets.”  James highlighted the responsibility that U+I, as developers, have to get the public realm and public space right and their determination to ensure they do get it right. Stephen talked about how the ‘outside of our buildings are the inside of our cities’ and how he would love to see Manchester “with streets and spaces more attractive to walk in, more trees and a better balance of space.” As part of the session, U+I created a film to find out what people’s thoughts on parks really are, you can see it across the page or at

And what’s more, London Director, Gareth Atkinson arrived in Cannes after successfully completing the Club Peloton 1500km Cycle to MIPIM in aid of children’s charity Coram. An incredible achievement by Gareth and the other 200 riders through some tough conditions. It had been a long but amazing 6 days. More to come on Gareth’s arrival……

A packed first day at MIPIM 2019