On 16 November 2023, our DSTRCT.Berlin had a visit from Professor Dr Bernd Hoepfner. He is Dean of Real Estate Management at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Berlin – and came with his students for the second time, as well as with students from ESPI Marseille, with whom there is a cooperation agreement. Further visits are planned.
Professor Hoepfner, why do you keep coming back to Landsberger Allee at DSTRCT.Berlin with your real estate students?
We work with our students to calculate the economic viability of bicycle parking spaces in real estate projects. But these are fictitious projects. The DSTRCT.Berlin is a real example with a bicycle garage that is so outstanding down to the last detail with this ramp and the roundabout, the digital locking system, the lockers and the shower that I would say it is a USP of the entire project. We usually take our students abroad when we want to see non-plus-ultra property solutions. When it comes to the bicycle garage, the journey is pleasantly short. But of course the new building and the refurbished halls are also a delight. The best bicycle garage alone will not bring success if the rest is not right.
What lessons do the students learn?
I’m in favour of openness replacing prohibitions or narrow-mindedness. A unisex toilet in the bike garage? One that says Humans instead of any gender? That’s rare, that’s courageous. And we want our students to be brave too. They develop and manage the real estate of tomorrow, and if we increasingly shop differently, live differently and work differently, the properties must also be different. If, in addition to the courage of the students, there is also the feeling that new solutions can actually be implemented, even in the conservative real estate industry, then that is certainly helpful. In other words, a new real estate industry with a new way of thinking. Another focus for us is the international real estate industry, where we cooperate with universities in Paris, Marseille, Dubai and Stockholm. We will be happy to bring these to you on our next visits.
What do you personally find most exciting about the tours?
That many of my students and myself are also thinking about cycling more. If a property sends out such impulses, then it has done something right.