Social Impact meets Real Estate
Social Impact Meets Real Estate
Human beings are defined by their actions. These actions, whether in the past or future, have reverberations. Often unintended and unwitting, these reverberations can be hard to trace back to their origin. They can be equal parts good or bad, like two sides of a coin, or they can weigh in in unequal proportions. In this tech-enabled world, we now have a science for everything, even calculating the good we do, as well as the bad. All of it, of course, is backed by data and can be transcribed to a piece of paper for the world to see.
It is becoming more and more popular by the day to be #Woke and #Accountable. We have rambled on in the past, about the salient responsibility that has been rested on our shoulders to be advocates of sustainability and leaving the world better than how we inherited it. But often while trying to get every structural detail and trying to meet every microscopic requirement, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Why are we doing this? Who are we doing it for?
If I were to walk into a busy street today and interview a passer-by about their grievances relating to real estate, they’ll surely complain about property prices, housing crisis, gentrification, etc. Their answers are enough to send you wondering that while we continue to build vertically upwards, do we personally need to be a bit more grounded. But like any industry you put your finger on, there are countless layers of management and execution. The inner workings of the industry can become quite incomprehensible for an outsider looking in. To be frank, it’s not the most exhilarating field either once you are over the conceptual and design development stages.
Another reason for this growing cavity between the two is the ‘profit non-profit’ aspect of it all. Society’s perception of real estate as an ‘avaricious giant’, does not help the case. This love-hate relationship can be perceived as comical even considering that we are all stakeholders in real estate, even though one might think that they have no part in this. We are all involved, knee-deep, and are affected by it regularly. Real estate accounts for a huge chunk of our economy and for most of us, it is one of the biggest investments we make in our lives.
How can Real Estate make real positive impact?
This one is a no-brainer, we are running short of homes. Especially for the ones belonging to lower-income groups (LIG). A 2012-2017 survey showed an estimate of 18.78 million shortage in urban housing and about 26-37 million households living in informal housing.
Presently, social affordable housings are a government priority and projects are being built under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. Wherein two or more public and private sectors get into a long-term agreement and work on social housing and alike projects. These public housings have proved to be a success throughout the nation and are increasingly gaining popularity.
However, if we want to reduce the housing crisis at an accelerated rate, much more can be achieved by encouraging private investors to build affordable housing or maybe a partnership with local authorities or development bodies.
City Centres and Squares
City centers inflict a sense of character to a place. Their distinctive nature, be it historic, administrative, commercial, religious, etc. acts as a magnet for tourists and locals alike to socialize and uphold the feeling of community and togetherness. A vibrant center can provide an opportunity for leisure and recreation, a place to escape the whims of everyday life.
Conservation and rejuvenation of these centers is imperative to maintain the identity of a place, lest it becomes an urban jungle of concrete facades and confusing streets.
Leisure and Entertainment
As a city grows, its needs are met by leisure and entertainment centers mushrooming around the city. Most of these projects are usually proposed in or close to the city centers to safeguard their objective.
Planning authorities usually forecast these needs and propose development plans that are followed for decades and upgraded to cater to the constantly changing needs of the community.
Many cities have a stronghold of cultural and traditional artistry that sadly in today’s time is losing its audience. Not just that, multimillion-dollar corporations are setting up shop in every nook and cranny of this world, resulting in the downfall of local businesses.
Supporting local communities and aiding them on their way can greatly help them survive in the long run. Also, there are numerous benefits of buying local, from community cohesion to meeting climate change objectives.