Taking sustainable living to heart . . .

Taking sustainable living to heart . . .

INQUIRER.net Brand Room holds that taking sustainable living to heart is all about not only ignoring any Insanity of Sustainability but facing the future reality with serious consideration of sustainable habitability as envisaged by a Philippines based SM Development Corporation (SMDC).

City life is often compared to an urban jungle where people merely exist in a given space, in a given time.

But what if space and time are rediscovered with fulfilment felt by the dwellers in a community that thrives in sustainability of living? What if time and space are elements that give birth to economic advancement, environmental preservation and community progress?

The one thousand and one “what-ifs” are a thousand and one realities SMDC offers to people who deserve a thousand and one more chances of a life of quality. Not only today but also in the years – many, many years – to come. 

“Making cities sustainable means creating career and business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies,” the United Nations has said. 

Because today and tomorrow are important to SMDC, its communities are designed and run based on three sustainability pillars: economic, environmental, and social. 

More than a roof over one’s head

Community building, for SMDC, is more than just providing a roof over one’s head. It is about creating a place that allows people to thrive, where all the living essentials are within striking distance – from one’s daily necessities to opportunities for commerce, for jobs and for livelihood. 

Building a nation of homeowners, as envisioned by Chairman Henry Sy Jr., means providing homes that are practical – efficient in size, generous in amenities, luxurious in services and facilities.SMDC

South 2 Residences in Las Piñas City is built on the concept of 15-minute cities, where economic opportunities, everyday essentials and public services are reachable in 15 minutes or less.

Sustainability, after all, is about sharing spaces and resources, so that they become inclusive and affordable, while providing enough space for others to thrive. For people to continue to thrive, they need to be close to where the economic opportunities are, in major CBDs whose property prices are constantly skyrocketing. An SMDC home, therefore, does not just take care of today’s dwellers; it is a place where homeowners can reap good financial rewards, as a legacy that can be passed on to their children and their children’s children.

It is this idea of shared spaces that opens SMDC communities to the everyday home seeker. To be able to live in a safe community with hotel-like lobbies, resort-style amenities, 24/7 security, located in a major CBD, was a luxury available only to the rich. Now everyone can have a piece of that luxury. And by everyone, it also means individuals who may be challenged to live in vertical spaces. SMDC homes are built with accessibility provisions for seniors, children and PWDs.

More than just a breathing space

City living spaces are often viewed as concrete jungles devoid of breathing spaces. Community building by way of SMDC means creating homes where residents and guests not only enjoy vast, open spaces with lots of greenery, but also with energy efficiency as part and parcel of every design. Units are built to bring in natural light and ventilation, LED fixtures are used and a waste management system is in place.SMDC

Sands Residences brings to Manila a premium-quality waterfront home in a complete community that provides a lot of breathing space and magnificent views

Every development is built with disaster-resiliency and future-readiness in mind – from site selection to construction and beyond. SMDC’s property management personnel are trained to respond quickly to emergencies of all kinds. These trainings are made available to residents through regular workshops.

Being situated where all of life’s daily essentials are within walkable distances, not only encourages residents to walk, jog or bike, but also allows them to become stewards of the Earth by reducing their carbon footprint. SMDC’s sprawling amenities and activity areas encourage residents to spend more time outdoors, savor Nature and reduce energy consumption.

More than just existing

Sustainability is built around the concept of continued existence for people. But to continue to exist, i.e., to extend today’s lives and to continue life for the future, means being in a place where health and happiness are given primary importance. SMDC’s properties allow residents to take care of their physical, mental and emotional health through spaces designed for these activities, spaces that encourage the creation of social connections, the very concept of community building.SMDC

The Good Guys Weekend Market provides a venue for residents to continue generating income during this pandemic.

But mere spaces are not enough. There has to be a catalyst to make these connections, and community spirit, come to life. SMDC’s The Good Guys program, enables SMDC communities to come together in the spirit of conviviality, to provide for both economic and social progress for residents, and to extend this altruism beyond its communities.

Building happy, healthy, secure and thriving communities is the heart of sustainable living, as exemplified in SMDC HappyNings, 2-time Quill awardee for community relations.

There is no life in mere existing. To live is to exist sustainably.

In a given space and a given time, SMDC creates the space for people to live today and to continue to survive the challenges of time.

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Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/320617/smdc-taking-sustainable-living-to-heart#ixzz6r9DKzdl9

What does it take to be smart?

What does it take to be smart?

James Rowntree, vice president at Jacobs, asked this question in Infrastructure Intelligence blog: What does it take to be smart? It is in everybody’s mind these days.

12 March 2021

What does it take to be smart? | Infrastructure Intelligence

Collaboration between city leaders, asset owners, investors and the tech sector is crucial in realising the benefits of smart cities says James Rowntree of Jacobs.

The term ‘smart’ has been used for some time now to broadly describe the adoption of technology by a city or infrastructure owner. The expression has begun suffering from overuse, particularly where the public experience of the result has been anything but smart, in the literal sense. 

Many cities and infrastructure owners have made technology investments over the years to automatically monitor or control things such as streetlights, water levels, utility distribution and traffic flow. However, these are relatively modest interventions when put in the context of ‘Industry 4.0’, the much-heralded fourth industrial revolution and the impact that real-time data and advanced analytics could have on how our cities and infrastructure assets operate in the future. If the hype is to be believed – and there’s good reason for it to be – then the future of smart is potentially transformational. The big challenge though is how to get there – and who pays? 

The use cases for smart cities are multiple, varied and growing, as anyone who has visited any of the international smart city exhibitions will be able to testify. It’s clear that relatively benign sensors that periodically transmit data today will be replaced tomorrow by real-time interactions which will allow for advanced applications, such as connected and remote healthcare, and connected ecosystems for things like autonomous vehicles.  

Whilst many of today’s use-cases will operate on current networks such as LoRaWaN and 4G, 5G is widely seen as the tipping point technology that will enable a lot of the next generation, disruptive use-cases to be realised. However, a challenge for cities and infrastructure owners is that predicting these use-cases is a little like trying to predict in the early 2000s the vast array of applications we now use on our smart phones. Creating a business case for a ‘smart’ entity is therefore not easy.

Connecting people and place

For anything to be smart it needs to be digitally connected and whilst satellite technology is developing, this invariably means hardwiring everything back to fibre. This then introduces the value of connecting people as well as things. Both local and central governments are actively encouraging reliable fibre-to-the-home connectivity for all citizens, recognising the value of closing the digital divide and giving people better access to 21st century jobs, opportunities and services. 

There is now a very good body of evidence that points to the positive social and economic benefits of fast and reliable digital connectivity. Cities in particular have an opportunity to promote digital connectivity as a platform for creativity and innovation that in turn is attractive to inward investment and growth. 

Unlocking the value of infrastructure

Similarly, owners of linear infrastructure assets see the opportunity to use their networks to promote the laying of fibre, unlocking not only operational use-cases and additional revenue streams for themselves but also providing a social value benefit through connecting people in harder to reach areas.    

The starting point is therefore to be clear on the outcomes to be achieved. The challenge for any city or infrastructure owner is to get digital connectivity where they need it and to build use-cases around the technology they intend to adopt.

Both urban and rural communities are generally reliant on the established telecom network providers expanding their fibre and mobile networks, although the timing and geographic reach of these plans is principally driven by their own commercial considerations rather than the specific priorities of a city or infrastructure owner. 

More recently, given it can be highly revenue generative, there are increasing numbers of private investors seeking to realise value from fibre ownership and governments are actively encouraging this in certain jurisdictions. The good news is that there’s a lot of cash available for investment in digital connectivity if only the right business cases can be established. 

What does it take to be smart? | Infrastructure Intelligence
Infrastructure Intelligence

Putting forward the case for change

To be both smart and to realise the benefits of connected citizens, public authorities are highly reliant on this private investment from either established or new telecom network providers. In turn, that private investment depends upon being able to secure anchor revenues to justify an investment case. 

For public authorities who can navigate state aid and public procurement regulations, they can attract this investment by either providing a future anchor tenancy commitment or encouraging others to do so. This all comes down to being able to develop their own credible business cases that clearly capture future connectivity benefits.

Defining and banking these future benefits is therefore key to being able to attract investment.  Whilst technology companies are spending billions on research and development and there’s a highly impressive array of technologies on the market, cities and infrastructure owners need to understand those that will truly add value. Technology remains nothing more than an interesting idea until such a time that it becomes accessible and deployable in a way that creates tangible value for the end user. 

For a city or infrastructure owner, it’s the consequences of this technology on business processes, people and training that needs to be clearly understood as part of the overall business case. These important points are often lost in the excitement of the technology but matter hugely to the ultimate buyer.

To realise the benefits of becoming truly smart – where city and infrastructure operations are a fusion of the physical and cyber worlds – is highly complex and requires the alignment of interests across the technology, telecommunications and investment sectors in collaboration with the city leadership and asset owners.  

James Rowntree is vice president – telecoms and digital infrastructure – at Jacobs.

Retail real estate needs Paris-Proof decarbonisation strategy

Retail real estate needs Paris-Proof decarbonisation strategy

Retail real estate needs Paris-Proof decarbonisation strategy, says Buildings Performance Institute Europe as reported by property funds world. It is understandable when, with the increasing industrialisation, buildings’ energy consumption already accounts for one-third and still counting of global CO2 emissions.

Retail real estate needs Paris-Proof decarbonisation strategy, says Buildings Performance Institute Europe

24 February 2021

BPIE – Buildings Performance Institute Europe – has released a new report highlighting that despite industry efforts to decarbonise building portfolios, retail real estate asset managers and owners lack a sector-specific trajectory towards achieving climate-neutrality. 

The report marks the launch of Paris-Proof Retail Real Estate, an initiative that looks to develop a vision and strategy to support the European retail real estate sector reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

The report highlights that the current rate of decarbonisation of retail buildings is not happening fast enough to meet climate goals. Extreme weather conditions, rapidly expanding floor area and growth in demand for energy consuming services exacerbate the issue. In 2019, the global buildings and construction sector accounted for 35 per cent of final energy use and 38 per cent of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Delivering the vision of climate-neutrality requires thorough renovation and smart design of the whole building stock, including retail portfolios.  

According to the report, existing low carbon transition and 1.5°C climate roadmaps are not yet fully adapted to the needs of the sector, and climate change issues are not yet fully integrated into mainstream asset management and investment decision-making processes, traditionally focused on the cyclical trends of property markets. Yet it is precisely at sector level where climate-related risks become more apparent. Interviews with ten retail property investment and management companies, which informed the report’s analysis, reveal that failure to put in place a decarbonisation strategy now could lead to value erosion and stranded assets in the years to come.

“In Europe, while GHG emissions targets are well defined for 2030 and 2050, these are not yet transposed into meaningful guidance for individual industry sectors,” says Zsolt Toth, Senior Project Manager at BPIE.

“If we are serious about decarbonising the full building stock by 2050, the retail real estate sector and policymakers need to have a common understanding of who needs to do what, and by when. The strategy should be measurable, sector-specific, and disaggregated from high-level political targets.”

Clemens Brenninkmeijer, Head of Sustainable Business Operations at Redevco, an urban real estate investment management company, agrees. “The need for deliberate actions and tangible results to significantly decrease emissions in the built environment is becoming more urgent for retail real estate managers every day. This report, funded through the Redevco Foundation, provides insight into where the retail real estate sector in particular stands, and what should be the next step.”

While this may seem evident, developing a forward-looking decarbonisation strategy for businesses amidst a changing policy landscape is not a simple exercise, says Joost Koomen, Secretary General of ECSP, the European Council of Shopping Places, representing retail and mixed use destinations and their communities.
 
“Aligning the broader long-term 2030 and 2050 goals with short to medium term investment decisions will be important, particularly in a rapidly changing industry that has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Koomen. “Market actors urgently need to understand how to plan for the longer term while also ensuring stability within the short to medium term.”

As BPIE’s analysis shows, most of the risks associated with climate change are expected to appear in the medium to long-term and thus are not captured by the relatively short-term models used in most current risk management practices. Data gaps, confusion of metrics and protocols, as well as the particular nature of carbon risks could give rise to a collective mis-assessment by real estate markets.

BPIE plans to launch a decarbonisation vision and strategy with the European retail real estate sector before the end of 2021. Owners and asset managers from the sector are welcome to participate in workshops and provide input in its development.

A Global City or One that is Equitable and Sustainable

A Global City or One that is Equitable and Sustainable

Observation of the physical form of Indian cities is the tool employed by Mehrotra to exemplify the clash between two opposing political rhetorics: constructing a global city or one that is equitable and sustainable.

Urban India: negotiating the impatience of global capital

By Rahul Mehrotra

8 February 2021

The contemporary urban condition in India symbolises the two simultaneous transitions at play on the political landscape – moving out of socialism and into capitalism, or from state-controlled imaginations of the city to a free-market production of the built environment. In the occurrence of transitions, which are often at play for decades in India, the built environment is naturally a muddle and the fallout from each condition finds expression in the physical form of the Indian city. Ruptures in the fabric and startlingly bizarre adjacencies characterise the city which evolves with these narratives colliding in urban space. The two narratives, or the political rhetoric, then counterposed against each other are of “building a global city”(in other words, pandering to the impatience of global capital) and developing a city premised on nurturing a civil society that is equitable in terms of access to amenities. Clearly, the former is propelled by impatient capital and articulated as an aspiration by private interests, such as multinational corporations, developers and increasingly the Indian State itself! The latter voice emanates from civil society – the academy, the non-government sector, foundations, institutions, labour unions and all other formations where “capital” acquires patience so as to reside and grow in more inclusive ways.
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The physical paraphernalia of these opposing city aspirations is also dramatically different. In the former case, the ground has to be prepared to allow capital to land softly and securely. This results in the deployment of a standard tool kit: airports, freeways, five-star hotels, convention centres and subway or elevated rail systems followed by the preservation of historic buildings (to assert a local identity) and a general clean-up of the streetscape. In this configuration the rich retreat into gated communities both in the form of vertical inner-city towers and sprawling suburban compounds on the peripheries. In reality, in both cases they withdraw from the city and the nitty gritty of its everyday life. The architecture that results from this attitude often displays a complete detachment from its surrounding environment as well as from the place and community in which it sits.

A Global City or One that is Equitable and Sustainable

Furthermore, its tectonic quality and materiality is most often unmindful of local resources and building traditions. Such architectural production is usually a quick response to the demand for the large-scale infrastructure projects (e.g. upper-income housing, hospitals, schools, colleges and commercial development) that allow private participation in otherwise largely government-controlled sectors. Most importantly, this form of global architecture thrives on its perceived ability to provide predictable and stable services for impatient capital, searching for a host terrain in which to invest and quickly realise its value. At the same time, the other emerging landscape in India is one that is evolving naturally in a vacuum, the result of a retreating state.

This is a city that has ensued from the state relinquishing the responsibility for projecting an “idea of India” through the built or physical environment. Today, the major state-directed projects are highways, flyovers, airports, telecommunications networks and electricity grids that connect urban territories but they do not help determine or guide their physical structure as masterplans did in the state-directed (Socialist) economy. At the very least, the masterplans sought to create entitlement to housing and proximity to employment. Instead, the “everyday” space has become the place where the economic and cultural struggles of the majority are manifested and the physical shape it adopts is that of a bazaar or informal city! These are the landscapes of the self-help settlements – often referred to as slums – or the peripheries of cities that grow outside the formal state-controlled urban limit. Similarly, the 400-plus small towns in India expected to become cities of close to one million people (and maybe more) in the next two or three decades are actively producing forms of urbanism outside the mainstream discussion on architecture or urban planning.

A Global City or One that is Equitable and Sustainable

This emerging landscape is the image of the Indian urban condition. The processions, weddings, festivals, hawkers, street vendors and slum dwellers all create an ever-transforming streetscape – a city in constant motion where its very physical fabric is characterised by the kinetic elements. This city is not dependent on architecture for its representation. In this “kinetic urbanism”, architecture is not the only “spectacle” upon which society relies to express its aspirations nor does it even comprise the single dominant image of most Indian cities. Quite the opposite, with festivals such as DiwaliDussehraNavratriMuharramDurga PujaGanesh Chaturthi and many more having emerged as the visual and representational spectacles of contemporary India. Their presence on the everyday landscape pervades and dominates the popular visual culture of India’s cities and towns.

Set against this imagination is a new landscape of global derivatives or the images of globalisation. It is an irony – that of the collusion of consciously dysfunctional land markets and exclusionary design and planning at multiple scales that has created this strongly contested fabric of contemporary urban India. Interestingly, in this condition both the rich and poor communities have managed not just to survive but to thrive! However, this reality is constantly challenged by the world-class city idea and slum-free city imagination. The government and financial institutions often drive this via a poorly informed appreciation of Singapore, Dubai and Shanghai – the havens of impatient capital set on autocratic political landscapes: cities where “humans” and especially the poor are not even considered in the imagination of the physical setup they will inhabit. In a democracy, citizens must be placed at the centre of any imagination of the city.

A humane and sustainable city must necessarily be premised on access to a basic infrastructure and patterns of mobility that will determine how the city grows and how people have equitable access to these amenities. In democracies, cities must be judged by how they treat their poor. It is really the choice between these two directions – or attitudes to city building – that will be central to the discussion on the future of urban India: a choice between constructing equitable cities or being bullied by impatient capital.Read also: Cities, increasingly global in the future, are the solution to the pandemic

Rahul Mehrotra (New Delhi, 1959) is the founder/ principal of RMA Architects. He divides his time between working in Mumbai and Boston and teaching at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University where he is the Chair of the Urban Planning and Design Department and the John T. Dunlop Professor in Housing and Urbanization. His most recent book is Working in Mumbai (2020), a reflection on his practice as an architect and urbanist, evolved via association with the city of Bombay/Mumbai.

Opening image: Peter Bialobrzeski, Mumbai 2017, images taken from the book No Buddha in Suburbia, Hartmann Books, 2019 .

This article was originally published in Domus 1054, February 2021.




Impact of Technology in Smart City Transportation Solutions

Impact of Technology in Smart City Transportation Solutions

Analytics Insight‘s LATEST NEWS is about the Impact of Technology in Smart City Transportation Solutions. It is a piece of TECH NEWS and is by Monomita Chakraborty. In the MENA region’s cities, the most significant concern is the uncontrolled recent growth of urban development without focusing on public spaces such as roads and common areas like train stations that promote access and social interactions. The few Smart Cities of the Gulf area appear to have leant, emphasising the transport and all related infrastructure.

So here is in a few words that :

Intelligent transport management system must be one aspect of developing a smart city

January 28, 2021

smart city is, in particular, a city that uses technology to provide facilities and help fix problems in the city. A smart city works like improving transport and convenience, improving public assistance, saving energy, and giving voice to its people. Improving policy effectiveness, waste reduction and disruption, improving economic and social reliability, and maximizing social integration are the primary goals of a smart city.

Individuals engage with smart city environments in various ways through smartphones and other mobile devices as well as smart cars and houses. Pairing the physical infrastructure and facilities of the city with machines and data will minimize costs and increase productivity.

The advent of new and interesting innovations that strive to keep cities smarter has only significantly contributed to this idea, and creating an intelligent transport management system must be one aspect of developing a smart city that is critically significant.

Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)

The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) can fundamentally change the way people travel in smart cities and metro systems. In offering multiple transport modes, developed infrastructure, traffic and connectivity management strategies, ITS presents a better solution. In order to provide customers with access to a better, easier and quicker way to travel, it uses a range of electronic, wireless and networking technologies.

According to Smart City Press, “Market reports estimate an annual growth rate of 25.1% in the smart transportation segment for coming five years. From USD 72.05 Billion in 2016 it is expected to reach USD 220.76 Billion by 2021. The major proponents of this growth are smart cities, need for public security and safety and government’s initiatives to improve present day transportation infrastructure.”

Transport technology advances are fundamentally developed out of needs such as performance, convenience, and security. Scientists and researchers in the transport industry work as a team to guarantee that these emerging developments deliver quicker, safer and with the lowest possible assets and get more people (or items) to their destinations. This is why we’ve seen a switch from coal-powered trains to super bullet trains, for instance.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things implies that it is possible to link all individuals and objects across networks. These extensive channels could affect various areas of our day-to-day driving such as route design, emergency preparedness, security.

Big Data

Big data is used to save traffic and ease congestion by assisting in traffic analysis and planning. Sensors built on transportation systems and fast vehicles help firms to gather streams of data from transportation agencies’.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI can make traffic more effective, mitigate congestion problems, facilitate parking and enhance car and ride sharing. Since AI helps to preserve the movement of traffic congestion, it can also cut vehicle fuel usage while it is static and remove pollutants and urban development.

Mobility as a service (MaaS) is a number of digital technologies aimed at improving the reliability and simplicity of transportation. MaaS tries to incorporate all facets of consumer experiences into a single service or framework that is user-friendly. This involves planning, scheduling, issuing tickets, transactions, and alerts for trips.

A dynamic infrastructure of technological advancements and collaboration between the public and private sectors makes MaaS real. Mobility as a platform for services leverages these innovations and this collaborates to build apps and services that contribute to efficiency of transport in real time and travel preferences.

As per reports of Smartrak, “According to the UN, 68% of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. This poses a major challenge to those in charge of planning our transport infrastructure; sooner or later we’re going to see diminishing returns on road transport infrastructure. The unfortunate truth is that regardless of how many new roads we build, there is a hard limit to the number of vehicles that can be on the roads at any one time.”