ESSEC Business School, France wins the 2024 ULI Hines Student Competition – Europe

(LONDON) - A team from ESSEC Business School in France has been named the winner in this year’s prestigious ULI Hines Student Competition – Europe. The results were announced by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Hines, the global real estate investor, developer, and property manager, following the final of the fifth annual pan-European competition for integrated and multidisciplinary urban regeneration.

The final, hosted by Hines at Grainhouse, its new European Headquarters in London, brought together six diverse teams from universities and business schools across Europe.

The student teams were tasked with a rigorous, practical case study-based challenge to rebalance the urban mix of an historic district of London’s West End and address the challenges related to expanding, replacing, or repurposing existing buildings while concentrating on social, affordability and environmental challenges. Specifically, the task was focused on delivering high quality student accommodation and community spaces and reinvigorating the area’s performing arts legacy.

The challenge tested their skills and knowledge of the core elements that impact responsible land-use and sustainable development, including real estate finance, investment, design, planning, and social and environmental issues. Each team then presented their responses, which had to deliver a financially viable business case, to a panel of senior industry leaders.

The finalists included ‘S.O.T.A.’ and ‘Bartlett Builders’ (both from UCL, United Kingdom); ‘Team Bavaria’ (IREBS International Real Estate Business School, University of Regensburg, Germany); ‘The Paris Team’ (ESSEC Business School, France); ‘Epalinges Estate Collective’ (EHL Hospitality Business School, Switzerland); and ‘South East Collective’ (University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom).

The team from ESSEC Business School, France, which included Solène Lelarge, Louis Fauvin, Rachit Agrawal, and Anvi Singh were announced the winners after delivering the best overall response to the challenge set. The jury were impressed by the team’s cohesive regeneration proposal which was anchored by the creation of inviting open space, and their attention to detail in not only addressing architectural and real estate issues, but also providing creative solutions for social and cultural integration.

The participating teams were assessed by a competition jury of senior pan-European real estate leaders, including Brian Moran, Senior Managing Director, Hines (Jury Chair); Lars Huber, CEO, Hines, European Region; Lisette van Doorn, Chief Executive, ULI Europe; James von Klemperer, President, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Robbie Pitman, Managing Director of Development, Hines; Rebeca Guzman Vidal, Founding Partner, Curate Ventures; and Jonathon Costello, ULI UK Young Leaders committee member.

The winners of this year’s competition each receive a fast-track to the Hines internship programme, a guided tour of an existing development project, participation in project meetings in Hines’ European Headquarters in London, complimentary access to tailored opportunities to participate in ULI’s programmes, depending on location and interest, and entrance tickets to ULI Europe’s flagship 2024 Annual Conference in Milan this June. Each finalist also receives a one-year ULI membership providing access to research content, events, webinars, education and mentorship programmes, knowledge sharing, and connections with a global network of real estate and land use professionals.

Two students who were members of the 2023 competition’s winning team from University of Manchester are currently working as interns for Hines at the firm’s European headquarters in London. Furthermore, Emanuel Rebelo, a Director in the Hines UK investment team, is a permanent member of the firm who has progressed his career at Hines after winning the 2021 competition.

Lars Huber, CEO of Hines Europe, and Chair, ULI Europe, said: “Every year the students raise the bar with their vibrant problem-solving and ingenuity. While the competition is helping inspire the next generation of real estate leaders, it also gives the judging panel an insight into the brightest young minds and their grasp of the key issues and factors influencing the future of our towns and cities and how they should be tackled. We are very proud of the competition, which since its inception has been a springboard for a range of careers in real estate, including our own recruits who are forging their careers with our firm. “

Lisette van Doorn, CEO of ULI Europe, said: “Congratulations to our exceptional winners, and to all the teams that took part in this year’s final, which once again demonstrated excellence in team working, and an extraordinary standard of creativity and insight in the solutions delivered, leading to the successful integration of all the different aspects taken into consideration. Not only does this competition provide a compelling preview of tomorrow’s real estate talent, but it also puts centre stage the critical importance of collaborating, a multi-disciplinary approach and sharing knowledge and best practice to find solutions to the critical challenges we face across the industry, which is a key priority for ULI.”

“I was very pleased to be a jury member once more and delighted at the continuing interest we have seen in the competition this year. Thank you to Hines for their longstanding support and collaboration in the annual competition, which is undoubtedly a hugely rewarding experience for everyone who participates, including the students, the mentors, and the jury.”

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About Hines

Hines is a global real estate investment, development, and property manager. The firm was founded by Gerald D. Hines in 1957 and now operates in 30 countries. We manage a $93.2B portfolio of high-performing assets across residential, logistics, retail, office, and mixed-use strategies. Our local teams serve 857 properties totaling over 270 million square feet globally. We are committed to a net zero carbon target by 2040 without buying offsets.

To learn more about Hines, visit and follow @Hines on social media.

¹Includes both the global Hines organization as well as RIA AUM as of December 31, 2023.

About the Urban Land Institute

  • The Urban Land Institute is a non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has over 48,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.
  • In Europe ULI has almost 5,500 members across 15 National Council country networks.
  • For more information on ULI, please visit, follow us on Twitter or follow our LinkedIn page.

Background to original ULI Hines Student Competition

  • The ULI Hines Student Competition – Europe is affiliated with a U.S. version, which was established in 2002.
  • Long-time ULI leader Gerald D. Hines, founder of the Hines real estate organisation, created the competition with a generous endowment after he received the ULI Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development in 2002.