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Centre of attention: European CBDs are displaying strong resilience
- June 1, 2024: Vol. 18, Number 6

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Centre of attention: European CBDs are displaying strong resilience

by Marek Handzel

In a report released in May 2023 named The Future of the Central Business District, JLL claimed commercial centres across the globe were at “an inflection point”.

Three years on from the start of the COVID-19 crisis, central business districts (CBDs) across the world were facing a “fundamental need to reinvent themselves” stated the advisory firm — if they were to remain attractive and competitive. This shift in urban dynamics, it asserted, was due to a “subdued demand for office space, more variable commuting and travel patterns, and a desire for amenities and experience-based spaces”.

A year later, JLL’s thesis, in a broad sense, remains true. But in Europe, the picture is now more nuanced.

“In Europe, there is not a threat to many CBDs [from hybrid working],” says Tasos Vezyridis, CBRE’s head of European thought leadership. “Cities are booming. And from the data that we see, people are coming back into the office at peak days,

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