EBRD moves to urban regeneration and sustainable tourism

By Olga Aristeidou

Focus on green buildings and inclusive tourism

  • EBRD Board of Directors approves new property and tourism strategy for 2020-24
  • Strategy focuses on green buildings, inclusive tourism and urban regeneration
  • Approach aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement

New strategy 

Urban regeneration, green buildings and sustainable and inclusive tourism with links to the local economy are the priorities of the EBRD’s new strategy for the property and tourism sector, approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors.

In particular, the strategy will guide the Bank’s investments and policy work for the period 2020-24 with an emphasis on:

  • managing and developing green and sustainable buildings
  • investing in an inclusive and competitive hospitality and tourism sector
  • promoting urban regeneration initiatives for more competitive, sustainable and greener cities
  • supporting the diversification of funding sources for real estate development and ownership through capital markets, thereby facilitating the sector’s resilience.

To date, the EBRD has invested over €3.3 billion in around 200 projects in the property and tourism sector.

Vlaho Kojakovic, EBRD Head of Property and Tourism, said after the approval on 2 October 2019: “A vibrant property and tourism sector is crucial for functioning economies. We are proud that the new strategy supports economic growth and promotes social inclusion in the EBRD economies, aiming to respond to challenges such as urbanisation and climate change. Greener buildings, promoting inclusive tourism and supporting urban regeneration are at the heart of the strategy.”

From 2020-24 the Bank will target investments in commercial, logistics and residential real estate, as well as in hospitality and hotels. The EBRD regions have enormous potential in tourism which remains widely untapped and needs to be developed carefully and responsibly.

Real estate stock is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for around 30 per cent of global emissions. Despite the fact that associated emissions from buildings need to be reduced by 80-90 per cent by 2050 to stay under the 1.5 °C warming limit, the EBRD’s regions still lag behind advanced economies, in terms of adopting of sustainable development practices, implementing advanced environmental regulation and utilising climate resilient components.

In this spirit, the EBRD property and tourism strategy is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. It also enhances the role greener buildings and cities can play in addressing climate change challenges.

In addition, the strategy underpins the significance of the hospitality sector in driving economic growth and generating sustainable and inclusive employment opportunities. A sustainable tourism sector has the potential to become a leader in creating high-quality local jobs, especially for young people and women, strengthening local supply chains and increasing regional integration and resilience.

The new strategy will be presented at an event organised by the EBRD in Piraeus, Greece on 8 October 2019.

New strategy