Mumbai, Maharashtra, India: The COVID-19 disruption has highlighted the importance of integrated township living which creates a self-sustainable ecosystem. The COVID crisis has disrupted the way of life of people. What was once considered as a normal routine now draws attempts at reassessment. In the wake of health hazards that one is exposed to due to the pandemic, people are motivated to re-evaluate their needs and alter their lifestyles accordingly.
The rising awareness has altered the preferences of homebuyers who now look for safe, well-designed, and self-sufficient spaces within gated integrated townships. Referred to as 'city within a city', these townships offer urban crowds peace, privilege, comfort, convenience, and community living.
The concept of townships started in the late '90s to enable the outward expansion of major cities. Over a period of time, rapid infrastructure development bridged the connectivity to far-flung peripheral regions via road, rail, and metro, helping small and large townships to become part of emerging business districts and providing close proximity to the main city areas.
It offers a complete living experience to citizens, an all-in-one solution for their needs as well as an integrated lifestyle with a self-contained ecosystem and the added advantage of walk-to-work. This helps in saving time, hassle-free work commute, and greater leisure time for work-life balance. The demand for integrated townships would see an unprecedented rise in the post-COVID world due to the ease of living they offer and bring essential living to the doorstep.
Given the paucity of land, urban metros are strained with high density, pollution, traffic chaos, insufficient open spaces, and lack of civic infrastructure. Integrated township living models are a great alternative. They have a well-planned layout with precision engineering and world-class civic infrastructure. It encompasses ample open and green spaces that improve the quality of air and health benefits which has emerged as a top priority for people in this unprecedented crisis.
The city hub dynamics are evolving with the decentralization of commercial hubs paving the way for integrated township models to flourish in the vicinity. The rise of new economic corridors and a slew of infrastructure development has opened the floodgate for newer city dwellings to accommodate the ever-rising demand for housing. The rapid urbanization and upgraded lifestyle have led to a consequential rise in the development of sustainable township development.
The post-COVID world will witness a new normal trend of township living that offers an all-inclusive lifestyle that features education centres, schools, pharmacy and hospitals, high-street retail and eateries, entertainment, and recreation zones with safety and security that truly reflects 'Ease of Living'.
Being safe under one's own roof without missing out on leisure and a good standard of living is what integrated township living is all about. Discerning homebuyers should definitely consider such living options that bring joyful community living with like-minded people, enjoy the green ecosystem with nature trails, and the benefits of a one-stop destination without compromising on the safety aspect. This is a true value proposition that township living can offer to prospective home buyers with appreciated value assets in the long run.
Thus, townships are good examples of the modern community living in the post-COVID world; which can be instrumental in responding better to the current and future crises. It underlines the crucial role it plays in meeting any health emergencies, connectivity issues, availability of essential facilities in sanitized, and safe surroundings that would be the need of an hour.
The township living is an innovative solution to the urban living, propelling self-sustaining day-to-day living. The change in consumer consumption patterns post-COVID will highlight the importance of township ecosystems that provide commercial, school, healthcare, essential services in close proximity for residents to simply walk up to each one of them without posing a threat of being exposed to the external crisis scenario. Thus, it will foster the concept of 'Live, Work and Play' along with technology infrastructure embedded to enrich one's living experience. Integrated living augmented neighborhoods connect with closely-knit social fabric in periods of disconnection.
Integrated townships offer a smart solution to many of the challenges of urban living; especially in the post-COVID world. These factors will definitely attract discerning homebuyers. Therefore, townships are here to transform India's residential real estate landscape in the years to come.
The author is Co-founder & MD- Hiranandani Group and National President - NAREDCO & ASSOCHAM.
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