The Middle East is boiling. Unprecedented popular uprisings have rocked a number of countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria and so on. Demonstrators, taking to the streets to protest their dismal living conditions, refused to be beaten back. They were experiencing growing gaps between rich and poor, widespread corruption, stifled free speech and a continuing autocratic control behind a thin layer of so-called democratic actions. The Arab Spring, as this revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests have been dubbed, could portend an improvement in the business environment in these countries, replacing the previous system by a more open economic system based on competitive advantage and thus creating future opportunities for investors, consumers and the economy.
Meanwhile, some 10,000 kilometers to the east, Japan was struck by a 9.0-magnitude undersea earthquake which triggered an extremely destructive tsunami wave that struck Japan and at least twenty other countries. Over 125,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed and at least three nuclear reactors suffered explosions. The impact of Japan’s earthquake and nuclear crisis ripped through the economy. “The economy was picking up, but it has shown weak signs recently due to the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake”, the Cabinet Office said in its monthly economic assessment. “It remains in a severe condition.”
These two events show that there will always be an ongoing development in the world. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, because the market development is based on tomorrow’s information. This evidently implies the importance of research in today’s economy, including the real estate market. In this context, the European Real Estate Society (ERES) was established in an attempt to create a permanent network between real estate academics and professionals across Europe. The department Real Estate Management and Development will host the annual conference – which is the primary event of the society – this year at our own University of Technology in Eindhoven. A perfect moment for our study association to promote itself and I hope everyone at the conference will enjoy reading our beloved magazine!
In the meantime, this magazine marks the final edition of the eighteenth year of publication. This year evolved around very tight deadlines in order to have this magazine ready for the ERES conference, and I am sincerely proud we managed to do so. We have made a continuous effort to improve the magazine’s quality, for which I would like to thank the editorial staff for their dedication and enthusiasm. Furthermore, I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the magazine this year for their contribution. A special thanks goes out to the professors of our university, whose help and years of experience were of tremendous value. Next year, there will be a new editorial staff, ready to improve the magazine with the same enthusiasm that fueled us this year. With this in mind we, as editorial staff, would like to say goodbye. And for now: enjoy reading!
Chief editor SerVicE Magazine
2010 – 2011