Election Manifestos 2019 – Side-by-Side Policy Comparisons: Infrastructure and environment

Election Manifestos 2019 – Side-by-Side Policy Comparisons: Infrastructure and environment

With all three of the main parties’ election manifestos out in the public domain as of Sunday night, Madano has pulled together a side-by-side analysis of policy pledges across a number of key areas – infrastructure and business tax, energy, environment, transport, heating and R&D.

So, before we all get ready to shout at the telly when Question Time is broadcast on Thursday, let’s look at how the policies compare:

Infrastructure and Business Policies

Madano Analysis On infrastructure and Government investment, Labour’s manifesto is far more ambitious than either the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats – promising more than double the spend of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats combined. If implemented, one of the biggest challenges would be finding enough credible proposals to spend the money on.


Madano Analysis – On energy, the parties agree on what needs to be done, but couldn’t be further apart on how to do it. All three parties are committed to investing in technologies needed to enable the low carbon transition, such as CCS and hydrogen, and are broadly positive about nuclear and hostile to fracking. There is a clear philosophical difference in how to deliver this however. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats would leave the current structure of the energy sector in place in order to deliver the low carbon transition, but Labour believes a sweeping renationalization programme is needed to make this a reality.

Environmental Policies

Madano Analysis – All three parties are keen to be seen as environmentally-friendly as seen by the fact all of them have made ambitious tree-planting and environmental restoration commitments. Labour and the Liberal Democrats also push to make environmental sustainability more important to investors and companies, in the hope that this could help drive change, though the Conservatives stop short of this.

transport policies

Madano Analysis – Singing from the same sheet, the main parties all agree on the need to accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and passing legislation to set air quality targets. For the Conservatives, the commitment to air quality legislation is a significant shift from the previous manifesto, and is a clear example of their determination to avoid being outflanked on the environment, as it rises up the public’s agenda.

heating policies

Madano Analysis On heating, while the main parties agree on the direction of travel, Labour and the Liberal Democrats’ proposals are more ambitious. Critically, both those parties plans go beyond energy efficiency measures and include support for the roll-out of heat pumps, a process which is likely to be very challenging for any future government.

RandD policy

Madano Analysis – To deliver a low carbon economy, significant R&D will be a prerequisite, and all three parties make ambitious commitments to expand total R&D spending. Labour and the Liberal Democrats both commit to a 3% of GDP target, while the Conservatives back the more immediately deliverable target of 2.4%. But the most significant difference might be the Conservatives’ proposal to create an ARPA-style agency to fund high-risk, high-payoff research.

Click here for the side-by-side comparisons for the NHS and healthcare.

Why the next generation could demand access to electric vehicles from the comfort of their own homes

Why the next generation could demand access to electric vehicles from the comfort of their own homes

Written by Sarah Park, Head of Madano’s Investment, Development & Regeneration practice

MIPIM 2019 invites the property industry to Engage the Future. As well as a nod to innovation its aim is to encourage leaders to communicate with the next gen on how together a more sustainable future can be created.

Electric vehicles (EVs) is one topic that has rapidly become a significant part of the property conversation since the Government launched its Road to Zero Strategy in July 2018. This political throwing down of the gauntlet has initiated debate on the impact that EVs have on the design, development and planning requirements for future builds with some local planning authorities insisting that new residential schemes are developed with EV charging infrastructure.

But how much demand is being driven by today’s customer and what does that trajectory look like over the next five to 10 years and beyond? How can we better identify decisions the next gen will make when planning to move home, irrespective of whether it is to build-to-rent or purchased property?

Industry data reveals that in 12 months, EV registration has increased by 110%. There is a distinct correlation between today’s EV owners and the ability to charge at home – 97% of respondents do so, made possible by on-street capabilities, with 75% of owners living in terrace/semi and detached homes. There is a growing number, however, who are choosing to live in flats. We anticipate that that desire to charge at home will remain the same.

Almost 50% of next gen decision makers would consider buying an EV; 84% of those who own an EV or would consider buying one are concerned about climate change. This disquiet shouldn’t be underestimated. Growing concern for the environment was made apparent when more than 10,000 school children walked out of their classrooms in February to voice their anger over what they see as a lack of action in tackling climate change. We are already starting to see them vote with their feet.

From a communications point of view, it is more important than ever that developers turn their narrative towards this next generation and share with it their commitment to build sustainably. Not just to rent out/sell flats and a lifestyle but because their own brand ethos is to be part of the environmental solution rather than the problem. Supplying EV charging points as part of a residential scheme would not only cater for a growing demand but offer the end user a reassurance that the lifestyle choice of their home is fit for the future.

About our electric vehicle (EV) insight work: Madano’s Insights team can help you to stay on top of the dynamic and complex EV market. We use data science to help you understand what the industry is discussing and who is influencing that debate, as well as primary research to profile potential EV owners and understand how incorporating EV and related infrastructure in your story will influence your reputation. For more information, contact Tara Lohmann ([email protected]) or Gareth Morrell ([email protected]).

How do we enable the next generation of road users to become owners of electric vehicles? See our infographic below.

EV infographic
Sharing your business ambitions to build beautiful will help lessen the negative perceptions of development

Sharing your business ambitions to build beautiful will help lessen the negative perceptions of development

Written by Sarah Park, Head of Investment, Development and Regeneration at Madano.

I don’t think anyone would argue the importance of building beautiful. The industry debate about the impact of our environment on how we feel is not new. Society might not associate space and design directly with health and wellbeing, but they know that looking at areas that are visually appealing makes them feel better than staring at rows of grey, homogenous blocks.

Whether you agree with the authors of Build Beautiful, the collection of essays published by Policy Exchange last week, or the sentiment of last year’s Building More Building Beautiful report, the central theme of both of highlighting the importance of raising the standard of new homes and places across the country, is something we should all champion.

Today, the design, function and safety of our buildings are under scrutiny. With society’s continued scepticism of developers, development and regeneration, those brands that have a purpose and aim to make a difference are often instead tarnished by a long-standing, negative perception of the wider industry. Meanwhile, household brands Amazon and Google are busy exploring or investing in companies that build prefabricated homes.

From a communications point of view, it is more crucial than ever that businesses across the built environment turn their narrative towards society and share with it their ethos and ambitions to build beautiful, sustainable places and spaces. Not just to achieve planning permission or sell flats and a lifestyle, but because they share a vision to develop structures and spaces that are socially cohesive, enrich lives and are safe to live in.

These are visions often discussed, but the Industry has a habit of talking to itself. This theme has been reiterated across numerous London property events, that the industry must engage society, speak to people, communicate its ambitions to create beautiful sustainable spaces for people to live and work in.

Those industry brands that genuinely want to deliver on this sentiment are doing themselves a disservice by not talking to their end-user audiences and building a reputation for their ambition to develop for the greater good.

Our investment, development and regeneration (IDR) team provides strategic communications for companies across every stage of the property lifecycle; from real estate investment and advisory, through to design, construction, development and management.

Instagram-able – that’s what you are

Instagram-able – that’s what you are

Written by Mark Dailey, Director at Madano.

For anyone of a certain vintage “Unforgettable” is a soft jazz classic. But these days in the ever-changing world of retail, the buzz word is “Instagram-able.”

You name it – everywhere in retail, the aim of the game is to attract Millennials and Gen Z by showcasing experiences curated for a market of one that can be relayed to their online community via Instagram.

This rush to embrace the Millennial-driven experiential revolution is affecting everything to do with retail – from mall layout to refurbishment, from removing car park spaces to nuking traditional anchor tenants, from embracing rooftop hot tub cinemas to selfie factories that guarantee priceless selfies in bespoke and outrageous situations.

It is the only real antidote to the disturbing news published by the BBC recently that 200 UK shopping centres are in danger of closing. The article talks about the demise of anchor tenants, the need to build ‘experience’ into aging malls in order to revitalise them and the fact that the UK is following the US in having too many dysfunctional shopping centres.

This update on the fast-changing world of retail was unveiled at a two-day event in Malaysia that Madano moderated. It was organised by the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) – the global organisation dedicated to supporting the shopping centre industry and its owners, operators and retailers. And the focus was on delivering this experiential approach.

It’s in Asia Pacific that you’re most likely to see shopping centres recalibrating and giving the new drivers of consumption – Millennials and Gen Z – what they crave.

Malls are newer there and can be reconfigured for experience more easily. Also there’s not an over capacity issue that is fatally undermining many North American malls. The U.S. has 23.6sq feet of shopping centre space per capita and Canada has 16.7sq ft. The UK leads in Europe at 4.5sq feet. By contrast China only has about 2.8sq ft.

So what are the emerging ‘experiential’ trends being driven by Millennials and Gen Z?

  • Non-anchor malls – malls of 300 specialty shops with no large anchor tenants are becoming more popular. The undifferentiated offering of the large department store or food hypermarket just doesn’t cut it with Millennials.
  • Multiple purpose malls –including a mix of retail, food and beverage, experiential and services like healthcare. One of fastest-growing mall segments? – offices and residential rental units – that’s right, why not live and work in the mall.
  • Shop sizes getting smaller – some stores are acting as little more than shop windows. Millennials and Gen Z don’t mind seeing and trying the product and then ordering it because the shop inventory is limited. They expect this kind of connectivity in distribution between store, website and warehouse.
  • Corporate social responsibility – malls are now in the vanguard of community social responsibility with programmes like disabled ambassadors and awareness initiatives focused around autistic shoppers. Again Millennials and Gen Z want to associate with brands that do well by doing good.
  • Park the parking – a major trend now emerging is for malls to convert car park spaces to retail use – Millennials and Gen Z don’t come to malls by car.

Millennials and Gen Z are driving huge changes in the dynamics of shopping centres. They expect retail to engage with them, are more interested in buying an experience or a meal than a product or a service, and want brand alignment on values and trust rather than value at the till and a smooth transaction.

And they are willing to trade their privacy to get this. 73% of all shoppers want to do business with companies that use personal data to make their experience more bespoke.

This opens the experience door to everything – AI curating offers for individuals, personalised robot shoppers, facial recognition identifying real time sales as you navigate down the shopping aisle.

In the future experiential mall, the phrase ‘retail therapy’ might refer instead to efforts to resuscitate those among us who have been overwhelmed by the pace of change. But it is definitely the way forward.

Madano’s Investment, Development, Regeneration (IDR) practice provides strategic communications for companies across every stage of the property lifecycle; from real estate investment and advisory, through to design, construction, development and management.

The real retail therapy

The real retail therapy

Written by Mark Dailey, Partner

For once the big story was not about China. Yes, the latest international summit of shopping centre operators, owners and retailers was held in Shanghai (ICSC RECON China event) and some of the stats about China were as impressive as ever:

  • Highest level of e-commerce penetration in the world at 19.8%
  • 2 of the top 6 data companies in the world (Alibaba and Tencent)
  • China fuelling Asia-Pacific’s  eclipsing of North America in total consumer spending by 2023

But the big story was about retail itself. Old fashioned bricks and mortar type retail where you actually go in a shop and buy something. 

Two massive pieces of received wisdom have dominated the retail world in the past decade. First, that e-commerce, digital online sales, is ravaging old style retail. That store-based retail is dead, a fading business model being rapidly replaced by delivery drones speeding from huge Amazonian warehouses on the edge of town and funky neighbourhood click and collect centres. 

And secondly that the industry is still reeling from the advent of e-commerce, the ultimate disrupter – and hasn’t yet come to terms with what this emerging digital business model should look like.

Like many things in business, the reality is far different from the headlines turned out by journalist’s too busy surfing from their sofas to wake up and smell the retail therapy going on.  

The shock effect of e-commerce on retail is over. Most retailers have learned how to cope with and integrate digital sales into their overall business model.  The key watchword in retail now is convergence – online converging with offline shopping in a seamless, integrated offering to the customer.  Retail isn’t dead – bad retail that cannot offer all the benefits of online but with a great customer experience is dead. 

But there’s more going on than just coping and integrating. Bricks and mortar retail is making a comeback.  Sales of real books have overtaken kindle e-readers. Amazon, Alibaba and Tencent (in Asia Pacific) are opening real stores in response to customer demand.

Word at the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) conference in Shanghai is that China at just under 20% of online sales is probably topping out and that this figure may be something of a natural overall ceiling on e-commerce. Countries like the U.S. at 10% have room for growth, but moving country stats and key segments like electronics, much beyond 20% will be difficult.    

In fact, the three fastest growing trends in retail right now have nothing to do with e-commerce. They are:

  1. Growth in food and beverage – now representing over 40% of gross leasable area in most modern malls
  2. Experiential retail – not buying stuff but having an experience, whether that is hot tub cinemas on mall rooftops, in-mall mobile basketball courts and ice-rinks or baby canteens, where toddlers belly up to the bar to get served
  3. Healthcare – for aging baby boomers keen to check pacemakers and stock up on pharmaceuticals while doing a little window shopping   

If 2008-2012 was about economic recovery and 2012-2017 about coping with the tsunami of e-commerce, the new challenge from 2018 onwards is about harnessing the power of big data to more deeply understand customer needs and wants.

The cutting edge retailers have moved on from figuring out how to work with digital sales. Like many businesses, they are now deeply into you. Using all kinds of data to predict what you want, proactively offer it to you and make it easy-as-pie to buy. 

This is the real retail therapy going on right now. The story of how your friendly neighbourhood retailer is moving way beyond the digital selling platform debate of a few years ago. And getting in your face – literally.  

As usual it’s Asia-Pac we need to look at to glimpse the future and here are some of the techno-trends soon coming to a mall near you:

  • Facial recognition is well advanced in Asia-Pacific. If you hesitate on your purchase – they see it and are fast working out why
  • Voice recognition and smile-to-pay systems where you literally ‘put your money where your mouth is’
  • Virtual changing rooms – why bother trying the outfit on when you can save so much time by having the outfit projected onto a screen-grab of you
  • Robot trolleys – no not bored husbands but real robots that take your shopping to your car for you and return themselves to the trolley park 

Thirty years ago, six of the world’s 10 largest companies by market cap were energy firms. Now they are data firms – 4 in the U.S. and 2 in China.  Data is the new oil.

And it is this focus on data and what it can tell retailers about what we want and why, that is the real retail therapy going on right now. Not some already settled debate about on-line or off-line. 

Madano is an insightful, effective, high quality communications consultancy with a strong track record in generating insight and the delivery of major programmes and campaigns in the built environment sectors.

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