Re-Building Europe Initiative Kick-off Event Held in Paris

Urban Density and the Vertical City is this year’s topic for the 2023 RE-BUILDING EUROPE INITIATIVE. Some 60 guests from all over Europe took part in the two-day event hosted by the BNP Paribas Real Estate and visited the award-winning refurbished Métal 57 and Tour Alto in La Défense.

Day 1 started with keynotes by Csongor Csukas (Global Head of Property Management at BNP Paribas Real Estate) and Méka Brunel (President of the Université de la Ville de Demain). 

Csongor Csukas’s keynote entitled Data standards adoption for a higher overall impactprovided valuable insights into the current challenges that lead to data silos and the benefits of scale.

Méka Brunel’s keynote presented the challenges faced by the government when it comes to real estate and the city of tomorrow.

Panel discussion

Both keynote speakers stayed on stage for the panel discussion Paris – an Urban Density Love Storyaccompanied by William Yon (Director at Gensler France) and Franck Boutté (winner of the Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme 2022).

The first day wrapped up with the thought that we need to unlock the opportunity of purposeful cities and ‘happy density’.


Cradle to Cradle exploration as a holistic value proposition for cities run by Simon Joe Portal
Green can be more cost-efficient and eco-friendly than conventional approaches, but C2C requires early adopters, risk reduction and legislation to drive change and innovation.

Sustainable urban mobility in a dense but livable city by Henrik Morgen (Bable Smart Cities)
We need to shift from owning to sharing, embrace the diversity and engage with citizens while further developing vertical mobility. Government must support such behaviors while still leaving scope for flexibility.

Day 2 focused on building users. At the Tour Alto in La Défense, Jeremy Myerson (co-author of the book ‘Unworking’) provided insights into rethinking the workplaces of tomorrow in regard to polycentric cities and the workplace as an experience.

Panel discussion

Elena Fernandez (Director at Valode et Pistre) Günther Schneider (Managing Director of France E.ON) and Csongor Csukas joined Jeremy Myerson on the stage for a discussion focused on transforming work, providing a sustainable future for high-rise buildings, and changing investors’ views of the real-estate economy.


Second life for tall buildings by David Schenke (Drees & Sommer)
Full refurbishment is often not only more eco-friendly, but less costly than a new building. Innovation and repurposing are the key to revitalization and sustainable refurbishment.

Transformation of spaces by Jan Silberberger (Drees & Sommer) and Erik Wolff (ICT)
Dense cities bring people together, creating a feeling of closeness and diversity – but we stopped building densely many years ago. We need to reconsider density and bring bring people back into the cities.

The Business Transformation & Network Management team (Ramona Thumm, Götz Schönfeld and Tina Schnitzler) and Drees & Sommer France (José Pereira and Dunja Houelleu) worked with our partner BNP Paribas Real Estate (Csongor Csukas) to ensure the success of the event.

We are now looking forward to our next workshop in Warsaw on May 8 and 9, supported by the City of Warsaw.

In collaboration with Drees & Sommer International, we are organizing the final forum on November 29 in London to present the results of our workshops and discuss the future of Urban Density & the Vertical City.