Richard Peiser: How the New Workplace is Impacting Urban Development Patterns: The Future for Mixed-Use Development

Richard Peiser is the first Michael D. Spear Professor of Real Estate Development in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard GSD. Prior to coming to Harvard in 1998, he was an associate professor of urban planning and development at the University of Southern California where he founded and directed the Lusk Center for Real Estate Development, and the Master of Real Estate Development program.

At Harvard, he founded and served as the first director of the university-wide Real Estate Academic Initiative. He also founded and directed the Advanced Management Development program. He has served as director of the master of urban planning concentration in real estate as well as the Master of Design Studies program in real estate and project management at GSD.

Peiser has published more than 100 articles in academic and professional journals. His primary research focuses on developing an understanding of the response of real estate developers to the marketplace and to the institutional environment in which they operate, particularly in the areas of urban redevelopment, affordable housing, and suburban sprawl. His current research focuses on mixed-use development, non-performing loan resolution, urban modeling, and new towns in China. His book, Professional Real Estate Development: the ULI Guide to the Business (third edition), was selected as one of the best real estate books published in 2012 by the National Association of Real Estate Editors. The International Council of Shopping Centers recently published Prestige Retail: The Design and Development of High End Luxury Retail. He teaches real estate development and finance as well as field studies on complex urban development problems.

Professionally, Peiser has owned a development company building affordable housing in Texas and California and has been a partner in a fund acquiring and managing industrial properties in California. He started an investment company with two other partners which invested approximately $500 million in property in China from 2004 to 2007. He also has been designated as a valuation and economic damage expert in selected litigation cases. From 2003 to 2015, he served on the board of Berkshire Income Realty, a publicly traded company based in Boston, and currently, serves on the Board of Overseers for the New England Wildflower Society. He holds a B.A. from Yale University, an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.


Millennial work preferences, open office floor plans, telecommuting, and coworking are changing where Americans work and what the workplace looks like. The workplace of the future is here today. The rapidly changing workplace is fueling the return to the city and creating new 'innovation centers' that are attracting high-tech firms and startups. Is there now a premium for mixed-use development? How are these forces affecting real estate investment and development? Which cities are winning?

Cosponsored by the Department of City and Regional Planning and the Cornell Baker Program in Real Estate.
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