MIPIM 2019: Our Highlights and Takeaways

The annual Marché International des Professionnels de l’Immobilier event in Cannes is one of the highlights of our year and MIPIM 2019 was another inspiring and educational four days for us.

Listening to France’s Minister for Cities & Housing, Julien Denormandie, speaking about innovation, innovation permits and “working with promoters to free up more land & address the problem of densification” was really interesting for us. To ensure sustainable cities which work for the people living in them, as well as the businesses growing in them, it is important to collaborate with all parties. From government officials to developers, to business owners, to homeowners, our cities can be thriving communities if we build them together. WalkTrue provides a platform for community engagement because we know how important community is at every stage of the process, from conception to development and beyond.


The desire for sustainability was echoed in MIPIM’s first Sustainability Forum where Chiara Pozzuoli of RWDI Consulting said, “Responsibility in business involves acknowledging environmental considerations in the long term,” a sentiment we agree with. The Kuwait Cultural Centre, which WalkTrue created the official opening video for, was a project concerned with both sustainability and community. It is interesting to see these concepts becoming the focus for more and more projects. We are especially excited by the W350 Project coming out of Tokyo which aims to turn cities into forests with wooden high rises.

Kuwait Cultural Centre buildings at night illuminated

With sustainability seeming to be the watchword of the 2019 event, Helsinki announced their aim to be carbon neutral by 2035. Anni Sinnemaki, deputy mayor for the urban environment, explicitly stated that “The real estate sector is crucial when it comes to carbon targets.” She mentioned that real estate has previously not been seen as the most innovative area. Fortunately, she said, “I have had really interesting conversations about lowering the carbon footprint of concrete, green roofs and energy efficiency. I think that climate policy can be a driver, making the whole real estate and construction industries more innovative.”


We were excited to see Scottish businesses and organisations in attendance declaring that Scotland is open for business and competing for foreign investment, something we already knew as our VR office is in Glasgow. With excellent plans for the future and a determination to make Scotland an ideal home for developers, we think Scotland could be the next big thing. There were many countries and cities in attendance, as usual, this year putting forward their locations and ideas.

Hearing Egypt’s deputy minister Khaled Mahmoud Abbas speak about the positive changes in his country was another exciting moment. “We’re a young country. We have a three-tier structure of social-housing programmes. And we are looking to work with private developers… Our reforms, which began in 2014, have created economic and financial stability. Our message at MIPIM is: The best investment opportunities now are in Egypt.”


For us, one of the highlights at the Innovation Forum was the Holoblade which creates a holographic image simply by spinning. We thought it was a really interesting fusion of modern and more retro technologies to create a futuristic look.

Image of a man using a VR headset with a hologram image in front of him

We are always looking for new ways to market real estate, be that making small tweaks to our current methods or adding the latest in cutting edge technology to our services and MIPIM 2019 certainly gave us a lot to think about.