RICS President: The time is now to future proof Scotland’s built environment

John Hughes

RICS President John Hughes FRICS will today address RICS professionals to celebrate the positive impact the profession has had on Scottish society over the last 150 years and discuss how members can continue to add value to the global built environment.

The visit, which coincided with the RICS UK & Ireland World Regional Board meeting in Edinburgh, kicked off the President’s tour of the UK throughout September and October.

Ian Fergusson, chairman of RICS in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to welcome John Hughes as he starts his Presidential Tour of the UK. This event brings to the forefront the many challenges the profession faces as working practices and society progresses. As we celebrate 150 years of RICS, it is important that we strive to attract new, diverse talent while frequently reviewing how we fit our traditional professional service values into a rapidly evolving new world. In doing this we help ensure continued confidence, ethics, professional integrity and client and consumer trust in our professional advice.”

Each of the President’s visits to RICS offices across the UK will also provide a part of the fact-finding Future of the Profession research which will help the organisation understand how these challenges are reshaping firms, services and professional practices, and how the profession is adapting to new technologies.

RICS President, John Hughes FRICS, said: “Technological advances in AI, big data computing and blockchain are set to radically change the way we develop land and manage property in our cities. These innovations are disrupting long established business models and have already encouraged a variety of tech firms into the property industry, such Google’s smart city development in Toronto and Airbnb’s growing global dominance over the hospitality industry.

“Thanks to climate change, around the world our cities are becoming much hotter, wetter and wilder places. The uncharacteristically warm ‘taps aff’ temperature which many Scots enjoyed this summer is likely to repeat itself in the coming years. But a long-term heat increase could have severe implications for existing infrastructure in Scottish cities, typically designed for cooler weather.

“Surveyors work right across the life-cycle of the built environment; developing land, constructing buildings, managing properties, and planning the supporting infrastructure. But these new forces are reshaping how we use the built environment, requiring a dynamic response from Chartered Surveyors, as well as clients, policy makers, the Scottish Government and regulators.”

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