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MIT News: Launch of Asia Real Estate Initiative

The Asia Real Estate Initiative (AREI) was approved by the School Council and also the Provost’s Deans’ Group. CRE Research Scientist and Lecturer, Zhengzhen Tan, is appointed as Founding Director of AREI, and Professor Siqi Zheng currently serves as the faculty chair to support Zhengzhen Tan.

AREI has received initial support from a prominent alumnus of MIT/CRE who wishes to remain anonymous. Since last semester, Zhengzhen Tan, together with James Scott, have already led 15 MSRED students to do two research projects under AREI: Real Estate Technology and Sustainability in Asia and Beyond. Recently, the Center offered fellowships and/or awards to five MSRED students with this fund.

The launch of AREI is now on MIT News!

MIT Center for Real Estate launches the Asia Real Estate Initiative: New effort empowers MIT researchers to shape real estate’s future and build responsibly and sustainably.

Excerpt from MIT News | March 7, 2022 | Maria Iacobo

To promote a sustainable and innovative approach to this growth, leadership at the MIT Center for Real Estate (MIT CRE) recently established the Asia Real Estate Initiative (AREI), which aims to become a platform for industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and the academic community to find solutions to the practical concerns of real estate development across these countries.

“Behind the creation of this initiative is the understanding that Asia is a living lab for the study of future global urban development,” says Hashim Sarkis, dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.

An investment in cities of the future

One of the areas in AREI’s scope of focus is connecting sustainability and technology in real estate.

“We believe the real estate sector should work cooperatively with the energy, science, and technology sectors to solve the climate challenges,” says Richard Lester, the Institute’s associate provost for international activities. “AREI will engage academics and industry leaders, nongovernment organizations, and civic leaders globally and in Asia, to advance sharing knowledge and research.”

In its effort to understand how trends and new technologies will impact the future of real estate, AREI has received initial support from a prominent alumnus of MIT CRE who wishes to remain anonymous. The gift will support a cohort of researchers working on innovative technologies applicable to advancing real estate sustainability goals, with a special focus on the global and Asia markets. The call for applications is already under way, with AREI seeking to collaborate with scholars who have backgrounds in economics, finance, urban planning, technology, engineering, and other disciplines.

“The research on real estate sustainability and technology could transform this industry and help invent global real estate of the future,” says Professor Siqi Zheng, faculty director of MIT CRE and AREI faculty chair. “The pairing of real estate and technology often leads to innovative and differential real estate development strategies such as buildings that are green, smart, and healthy.”