Today we kick-off our third year of Urbanity — our conference for the creators of cities in the Asia Pacific.
Over the next two days, we are bringing together an amazing group of people that are shaping the cities around us.
From developers, architects, builders and consultants to marketers, disruptors, financiers and innovators, Urbanity is emerging as a unique melting pot of ideas, learning and networking.
So what's the deal? Why do we care so much about a conference?
At the heart of what we're doing is a passion to see better outcomes for our cities. We really do care about what is happening.
The very idea for The Urban Developer was sparked by an immense sense of frustration with the way that the industry operated.
I loathed the public perception of property developers as gambling capitalists with a single-minded view of making money through speculative construction.
Granted, there are people out there that live up to, and reinforce, this reputation all the time.
But the vast majority of the developers that trained me and shaped my world view — along with the teams of consultants and professionals on the journey — were considered, savvy and socially-minded people that cared about the community, the environment and sustainable business.
We're not an industry body.
We're not advocates.
We're real, independent property people that give a damn.
But that's just not enough.
How do you convey the spirit of entrepreneurialism and inspirational development through independent journalism?
It just doesn't work. It's a paradox. So we created Urbanity.
We always saw Urbanity as an opportunity to bring together the "the doers, not the sayers" into one room for an intensive learning experience.
And we naturally believed that it would take a course that differed from that of the industry associations.
With the greatest of respect to them, their content was not doing it for us!
Fundamentally, we also identified that people want to learn from their peers.
And we realised that the personal journey, both good and bad, is more interesting and engaging than sanitised corporate speak!
So we continued to challenge the status quo, getting things right (and wrong!) along the way, to get us to this moment — Urbanity 2019.
This year, we will be joined by almost 1,000 delegates across two days making Urbanity — along with The Urban Developer's Awards for Industry Excellence - the largest independent property event in Australia.
We're so honoured and proud that the industry has embraced our vision for Urbanity and hope that you can continue with us on the journey.
We aspire for Urbanity to one day become the South by Southwest (SXSW) of cities — an annual event attended by thousands of people from across the globe representing a diverse array of entrepreneurs, innovators, professionals and authorities.
All of this, hosted in own beautiful hometown of Brisbane!
Welcome to Brisbane. Welcome to Urbanity!
Adam Di Marco is the founder and publisher of The Urban Developer.
He is also the managing director of Di Marco Group, a Brisbane-based boutique property development business and executive chairman of CityShape, a disruptive big-data start-up for the property industry.