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ULI counter ACE's comments expanding PPP programme

"Long-term, solid relationships between the private and public sector are viewed as invaluable in securing investment into urban areas," say the Urban Land Institute in light of a recent survey of 2,300 of their European members. The research is brought to light following the ACE's claims that Public Private Partnerships are simply an 'accounting trick', a claim they say is backed up by recent research from Edinburgh Research fellow David Price.

The ULI's survey findings, revealed last week, showed that 48% of their European members thought that building long term relationship with cities was the way to make investment happen for leading investors and developers, 62% reported that more joint ventures between public and private sector were the way forward in the next 10 – 20 years and only 10% thought that Europe lacked good projects in which to invest.

On the back of their research the ULI announced yesterday that they will expand the number of cities in their new public - private initiative in Europe, the ULI Urban Investment Network. Ironically perhaps Edinburgh is to be one of the additions together with Amsterdam and Istanbul which join Barcelona as Founding Partners of the new platform.

The ULI believe their new scheme 'will share best practices and foster excellence in collaboration between public and private sector organisations' with private sector founding partners comprised Allianz Real Estate, ECE, Eurohypo AG and ING Real Estate Development.

The Urban Investment Network(UIN) was set up 18 months ago following earlier ULI research into city investment and regeneration best practices in Europe to provide high quality content mixed with regular knowledge sharing workshops and conferences. “No one was bringing together the key decision makers on a meaningful basis to share experiences in the area of collaboration and to ask - did it really work? Now we have a platform and it is beginning to reveal many approaches.” stated Menno Maas, Chief Executive Officer, ING Real Estate Development.

A total of eighteen partners have now joined the network including Deutsche Bank, OECD, the UK Government Department for Communities and Local Government – and Birmingham City. Workshops have been held across Europe in the past year, including a session hosted in Brussels by the European Investment Bank, which fed into the recently published Urban Investment Network report, Value Capture Finance: Making Urban Development Pay Its Way.

"The financial crisis has amplified the need for such a deep knowledge and relationship building platform for cities, investors and developers. The Urban Investment Network Partners are together seeking new ways to unlock stalled development, infrastructure and regeneration projects," say the ULI.

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