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Bridging Multiple Knowledge Gaps in Global Urban Real Estate Research

Upcoming webinars

About the webinar series

Real estate investment and development are key processes and contentions that shape contemporary cities. While the key players in these processes – investors, developers, urban policymakers and planners – received heightened attention in urban planning in recent years, the discipline continues to grapple with the complexity and fast-paced nature of the real estate industry. Global investments into built environments and particularly the financialisation of urban development are addressed across various contexts in the global North and South (Robinson et al. 2020). However, literature on this topic has been critiqued for its limited empirical base (Crosby and Henneberry 2016), its poor differentiation between types of developers (Ballard and Butcher 2019) and investors (Özogul and Tasan-Kok 2020), and its oversimplification of investment decisions by private sector actors (Raco et al. 2019). Furthermore, data and knowledge of the real estate industry itself is often either inaccessible or overlooked by academics.

Connect21 aims to address multiple knowledge gaps on the real estate industry in the wider Urban Studies by establishing an interdisciplinary and interprofessional network of Urban Planning and Real Estate scholars, and professional real estate organisations to collaboratively develop four public webinars and two early-career seminars.The Connect21 webinars tackle new urban development dynamics instigated by the Covid19 pandemic. The Connect21 early-career seminars provide individualised feedback and support to early-career researchers working at the intersection of Urban Studies, Planning and Real Estate to support establishing a new generation of scholars who skilfully bridge interdisciplinary divides.



Sara Özogul

(Assistant Professor, University of Groningen)


Nagwa Kady

(PhD researcher, University of Amsterdam)


Tuna Tasan-Kok

(Professor of Urban Governance and Planning, University of Amsterdam) 


Champaka Rajagopal

(Independent Urban Development Specialist)

Project lead

Institutional partners and participating representatives

African Real Estate Society

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Catherine Kariuki


(President of AfRES | Lecturer in the Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, University of Nairobi)

Francois Viruly


(Executive president AFRES | Director of the Urban Real Estate Research Unit| and Assoc. Prof. of Property Economics, Property Investment and Property Finance, University of Cape Town)

Kola Akinsomi


(Chair of Future Leaders of AfRES | Assoc. Prof. of Real Estate Finance and Investments,  University of the Witwatersrand)

Latin American Real Estate Society


Eliane Monetti

(President of LARES | Professor in the Construction Engineering Department, University of São Paulo) 

Association of European Schools of Planning Young Academics Network

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Ledio Allkja


(AESOP YA Coordination team member | Lecturer, Polis University | Head of Territorial Governance and Planning Unit Co-Plan)

European Real Estate Society 

PhD Network

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Sascha Jansz


(President of ERES PhD Network | PhD Candidate, University of Groningen)

Individual partners


Andre Legarza

(PhD researcher, University of Amsterdam)


Brian Jennett

(Principal of Data-Driven Plans & Real Estate Insights LLC)

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Ed Nozeman

(Professor of Economic Geography, University of Groningen)


Elliott Hale

(Director of Research and Advisory Services EMEA, Urban Land Institute)


Isil Erol

(Associate Professor of Real Estate Finance & Investment, University of Reading)


Michael Ball 

(Professor of Urban and Property Economics, University of Reading) 

Fuad Malkawi

(Senior Urban Development Specialist, The World Bank)


Connect21 has been generously funded by the University of Amsterdam's Centre for Urban Studies as part of the Seed Grant XL for "Levelling the Playing-Field of Urban Planning: Co-producing and Commoning Property Market Knowledge."