Smart cities are not a novel concept but what is quite interesting here is that any industry you pick is going to be significantly impacted by a smart city project. In other words, most industries are at the receiving end of the aftermaths of a planned smart city. However, there are a few industries, like real estate, that impact the development of smart cities as much as the other way around. A smart city is efficient and sustainable; in terms of infrastructure, data connectivity, connectivity etc. And real estate plays a pivotal role in making a smart city, smart.
Sustainable buildings are the need of the hour, and a smart city infrastructure would imply the most efficient waste management systems, minimal spend of perishable resources, recycling, smarter management of services and careful use of infrastructure. All of this while each and every device would be connected in real-time optimizing itself and producing humungous amounts of data for analysis and troubleshooting. How will real estate keep up?
Well, the RE industry has already taken several steps in this direction. But as much as the RE industry is changing the shapes of smart cities, the cities are changing the way we work and construct.
Here are some of the most significant changes brought about in the residential real estate industry-
The impact of data-
The increasing availability of data makes sure that the developer has better information about the project site, neighbourhood, water levels and other surroundings. This makes for much better-designed projects, a scientific approach to site selection and a smarter design that is inclusive of all parameters known. There can be data obtained about the underground water level and soil qualities, the number of footfalls in the past in that particular area and any possible shortcomings of the site that the developer or the purchaser should be aware of.
Growth beyond tier I cities-
As part of this smart city revolution, our Government has taken up other initiatives too like building Industrial Corridors connecting cities in order to enhance connectivity and transport of materials and finished products. This allows developers like us to have access to cost-effective raw materials and also opens plenty of doors to the development of tier 2 and tier 3 cities as a lot of industrial development shifts to these cities. The paucity of lands in metros has already been quite an issue, and we needed new horizons to explore.
Get smarter with technologies-
An unavoidable yet effective by-product of these initiatives is the overall exposure to technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and even Virtual Reality (VR). Developers will make investments in AI for better lead generations, align ourselves to various data centres and move to a more modern way of conducting business. At the same time, experiencing projects, the inclusion of VR games etc. helps us in replicating our vision of the project to the customers’. Needless to add, the latter part is already in full play as we speak.
A big step towards sustainable construction-
Smart cities also mean better water & traffic management, minimizing space utilization while maximizing experiences which is actually a choice today for developers. Smart cities will require smarter buildings as investors become more aware of the implications of their way of living. This also further boils down to the use of raw materials, use of transport, materials used for construction and methods deployed. In terms of the final buildings, smart ones will need to be energy-efficient and self-sustainable.
We, at Emaar, are nudging towards the big shift in the real estate industry and are doing our bit to minimize our carbon footprints. Are you?