Why integrated townships are the way forward
Jan 28, 2014
Source : The Times of India


DELHI: In today’s real estate scenario, the trend seems to be leaning towards integrated townships. Is there a demand for it? If so, what are the key drivers? And more importantly, what comprises a truly integrated township?

In A1 cities, urban space is fast decreasing, resulting in a high degree of residential density. While cities are getting crowded with increasing and floating population, the potential for providing residential development is present only in the outskirts, where large parcels of land are available.

In place of several small residential developments, it makes more economic sense to develop a township, where all amenities are available, thus making the distance to cities an insignificant factor. Moreover, with today’s important emphasis on adopting ‘green concepts’, it becomes feasible to implement several sustainable eco systems in a township.

With expanding industrialisation in urban boundaries, there is a definite need for concepts such as integrated townships which enable a comfortable life close to people’s work place. This is especially true for the IT industries.

Segments in an integrated township

An integrated township has to necessarily fulfill certain criteria. It needs to be self-contained. Along with residential clusters, commercial businesses, schools, hospitals, retail outlets, entertainment, etc. are basic components of a township. Other important necessities, such as convenient network of proper roads, electricity & water supply,  water treatment plants, rain water harvesting systems, drainage and sewage facilities, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, amenities such as swimming pools, children’s play area, etc. need to be integrated into the township.

Several townships also have senior citizens living community homes, thus making it a holistic living environment for all age groups. A gated community, with high level of safety & security and self-sufficient in several aspects, support the concept of ‘walk to work/school/shop’, results in saving of energy, time and cost for the residents.

The biggest benefits that an integrated township can offer are the uninterrupted supply of electricity and purified water since power plants and water purifier systems are statutory requirements.

The success of an integrated township lies fundamentally in the planning – a balanced mix of residential, commercial, educational, healthcare, shopping and entertainment space with the right amount of open area, progressive and sustainable factors that contribute to an enhanced   lifestyle.

Demand drivers

There has been an increasing demand for integrated townships. The factors that are driving demand in places like Bangalore are:

  1. In the city, the rental values of commercial space are rising and hence the IT companies are looking at cheaper locations which have all infrastructure facilities. In fact many IT companies are looking to relocate so that the employees can walk/cycle to work.
  2. The price of quality residential accommodation in the city has gone up substantially. The discerning buyer  is looking for lifestyle amenities such as  large open green spaces, jogging trails, cycling tracks, skating rinks, tennis courts, soccer fields, cricket pitches, swimming pools, etc. These amenities are difficult to provide in city projects as vast tracks of expensive land is needed. To access these amenities, the city residents have to travel to multiple locations on the crowded roads. Hence, there is demand in the residential segment for integrated townships as these amenities can be easily accessed.

Way forward

Almost all prominent builders are entering this segment, since many state governments are also promoting integrated townships with easier policies, etc. Master Plans of all major cities include expanding the urban boundaries – one major reason why the concept of integrated townships definitely has a future. In our assessment, we already see a paradigm shift happening in the decades to come where a city shall be an agglomeration of integrated townships or mini towns, self sufficient in numerous ways.

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