London Planning Seminar: The risky business of real estate developers
23 October 2018, 5:30 pm–8:00 pm
Network building and risk mitigation in London and Johannesburg
G.0114 Upper Woburn PlaceLondonWC1H 0NN
Recent work on financialization in urban political economy and economic geography has highlighted real estate developers as a point of analysis for understanding urban governance and ongoing urban restructuring. This paper argues the relational strategies of developers revealed in this work is informed by the existence of a series of risks which they have to mitigate throughout a project’s lifecycle. As a result, there is a need for more geographically sensitive – and relational – understanding of real estate risk, and how it influences actors’ strategies in places. Building on two examples from Johannesburg and London, this paper explores the relationship between risk, real estate and urban transformation. In highlighting the different roles developers assume as knowledge coalition builders, political actors and community builders, we demonstrate how developers employ specific relational strategies to counter threats to the implementation of their projects.