Kanika Gupta Shori, the Co-Founder and COO at Square Yards, has highlighted how urban policies need to re-align with sustainable needs of tomorrow. The ongoing pandemic has thrown up and exposed fault lines and cities have to be re-imagined, environments revived and emphasis laid on a safer and sustainable future with proper health and quality of life. Public stimulus spending is considerably needed across various key aspects according to Shori.
Public transportation has to be innovatively re-imagined since it almost came to a complete halt during the nationwide lockdown. This enhanced air quality considerably in the bargain while making neighborhoods more walkable and livable for people owing to quieter lanes and streets. Although transportation facilities are steadily unlocking now, Governments have to accelerate a shift towards cleaner and efficient electric transportation for lowering emissions and enhancing air quality. Governments now have to come up with innovative pricing schemes for public transport along with creating rapid EV charging infrastructure throughout major transit points. Remote/flexible working has to be encouraged to lower traffic on roads as well. Public road spaces will have to be balanced for accommodating lanes for electric bike sharing and cyclists.
Inequality is rampant in quality of housing across India’s modern cities. This has been exposed by the pandemic when millions of migrant laborers had to walk back homewards in spite of the lockdown. The low-income city dwellers, deprived of city life and its benefits, have contributed towards India’s economic growth and prosperity. Their needs are required to be properly taken care of while nurturing them in sustainable and developed communities. Governments are also looking at income safety nets for low-skilled workers along with universal income plans. The vocal for local blueprint of the Narendra Modi Government in the aftermath of the Galwan Valley encounter with China is a highly welcome decision. This will safeguard interests of millions of local and independent workers in India.
This decision will spur demand for local products, safeguard millions of livelihoods and uplift status of those engaged in independent businesses throughout the country while boosting the EWS housing schemes and PMAY greatly. The importance of open and green spaces in housing societies cannot be underestimated after the impact of the lockdown. Energy-efficient societies with greenery are the best options for psychological and emotional wellness. Real estate developers are formulating new strategies and incorporating carbon-neutral and efficient dimensions to new housing projects. Green building codes will cost less as compared to regular structures while helping in management of solid waste, conserving water and reducing carbon emissions.
City dwellers have also started looking for homes in suburbs with lower density owing to higher risks of infections across cities. The de-carbonization trend will be spurred by the rising demand for livable housing destinations while re-densifying cities and enhancing climatic change resilience at the same time. Shori feels that the onus lies on everybody to create a sustainable, safe, green and healthy urban future. Corporations and people working for a fast-growing Indian housing industry should now plan, think and take action towards achieving higher sustainability according to her.
Square Yards is a technology-enabled, global real estate aggregator and India’s largest player for primary residential real estate. It’s subsidiary Square Capital is one of the largest marketplace for secured mortgages in India. Square Yards platform offers an integrated consumer experience & covers the full real-estate journey from search, discovery to research, transactions, home loans and post-sales service – fully integrating buyers to an extensive network of 500+ partner real estate developers, and 90+ banks & NBFCs. Square Yards is led by accomplished professionals, ex-bankers, and Ivy school alumni and is backed by the competence of more than 2500 employees in 30 cities and ten countries.