Minerva plc, the FTSE 250 property company, today announced a ground-breaking joint venture with the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and Political Science, to undertake new research consultancy into key factors impacting on urban development.
Minerva is making an initial investment of £500,000 in the joint venture project, which will be named 'The Minerva LSE Research Group'. The Group will undertake a continuing stream of original research initiatives targeted at addressing the practical issues that will influence development in major urban areas, the arena in which Minerva's development activities focus. The Group also aims to enhance the awareness and clarity of the issues that are impacting upon urban areas and, in turn, help shape the future of public policy.
The move represents the first time that a UK property company has independently created an entity dedicated to long term research into those issues that affect its industry.
The results will provide Minerva with an exclusive resource to be considered when formulating future strategy and the findings of the Group will constitute a public knowledge base, giving advice on how best to plan cities that will be of value to city governments and Mayors on a world-wide basis.
Andrew Rosenfeld, chief executive of Minerva, commented:
"The property industry has for too long made major investment decisions that have enormous impact on our environment and infrastructure that are based on little or no practical research. No other industry makes commercial decisions on this basis. This initiative, conducted with one of the world's leading academic authorities on urban design and regeneration, will go some way towards redressing this and provide Minerva with a platform of considered research which will enhance its performance as one of London's major developers."
Richard Burdett, director of the Cities Programme at LSE commented:
"LSE leads Europe in research of this type and Minerva's support will not only help maintain this position but enhance the quality of our work. The built environment has an enormous impact on all our lives and we believe that the work of the Minerva LSE Research Group will greatly contribute to the future of urban planning and development in both the UK and abroad."
For further information please contact Ian Lindsley on 020 7630 3816.
Minerva is one of the UK's largest property investment and development companies with net assets of over £500 million. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250. The company has a broad range of major development projects, the largest of which include proposals for its St Botolph's House site in EC3 which, at over one million sq ft would be the City's largest ever office building and Park Place, Croydon, which will be one of the UK's largest covered shopping centres.
The LSE Cities Programme
Established in 1998, The Cities Programme at LSE is an international centre dedicated to the understanding of contemporary urban society. Its central objective is to relate physical structure to the social structure of cities. The programme offers degree courses and houses research projects. It hosts public events with design professionals, academics, city leaders and policy makers. The programme also engages in urban design and regeneration consultancy with interdisciplinary teams, including the local government expert Tony Travers and Professor of Sociology, Richard Sennett. The advisory board of the Cities Programme includes leading architect Norman Foster, Anthony Giddens, Director of the LSE and the former Mayor of Barcelona, Pasqual Maragall.
13 May 2002