Cities need to be more sustainable

With the growing preference for green an open spaces brought by the pandemic, a lot of people have been opting to reside outside of the main cities of Metro Manila.

However, this does not mean that death of urban cities, but rather, it prompts the need for more sustainable ones.

“The current situation has prompted the need for “future cities” post-pandemic – cities that are more live-able and sustainable,” property services firm Santos Knight Frank said.

Santos Knight Frank chairman and chief executive officer Rick Santos stressed that people will eventually return to cities and offices. 

“People will want to be in the urban core and stay in the area of where they work,” said Santos. 

Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research of Knight Frank believes that people will eventually come back to the cities because the long commute between home and work is not favorable in the long run.

Bailey said there is an opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs to make cities work by repurposing and refurbishing assets to make it more sustainable. 

“One of the biggest challenges in the West and globally is the change of use of some office space, retail space, and residential into logistics; and having a relationship to the public and the private sector to do this well,” Bailey said.

Santos stressed that sustainability used to be something that is nice to have, but is now a must-have as more occupiers and investors will demand it.

Carsten Menke, Head of Next Generation Research at Julius Baer described livability as people’s access to basic necessities such as housing and utilities. 

He added that sustainability relates to the cities’ transformation through technology and trends to improve way of life, such as efficient waste management, traffic rerouting to make cities smarter

“At the end of the day, sustainability and livability go hand in hand. If cities are safer, cleaner, and calmer, they are sustainable and more livable,” said Menke.