The development of scientific technologies and integration of these technologies in our day-to-day lives have paved way for the new kind of human settlement system that is greener and more sustainable than what contemporary real-estate development methods offer. 

With more and more people moving from small town to cities and from underdeveloped countries to the developed ones, the need to design the cities that accommodate its residents efficiently and comfortably is more than ever before. 

Angus Reed, the Managing Director and Co-founder of Lotus Equity Group, has been closely involved in the development of these technologies (Read Angus Reed Bio here). He gave us some insight as to what the sustainable urban development plan should include: 

  • Sustainability in buildings: Real-estate developers should inculcate the use of building materials and systems that minimize its impact on the environment. Designers and builders should design buildings that not only use HVAC systems, water conservation systems, electricity supply, etc. efficiently but also with materials that are sustainable. Using our resources efficiently will ensure these resources are available for all. 
  • Making cities smarter: With the growth of automation, it has become possible to control our electrical devices and make them more energy-efficient. It is now possible to control many of your devices with the help of a smart remote or your smartphone. 

Not just that, even at the city level, if the devices are connected to a cloud computing system, they could be utilized more efficiently and could also assist the state authorities in reducing crime and assisting in emergency help. 

  • Modernizing the existing infrastructure: There are many cities in the U.S. that have water lines which are more than 100 years old. These lines pose a huge safety and health risks to the residents. Infrastructures such as aged airports, railway stations, bridges, tunnels and parking structures undermine the confidence of a citizen in the urban governance. These infrastructures need to be revamped, and integrated with the newest technologies. 
  • Improving public transit system: Most urban cities face the problem of traffic congestion. Stationary traffic contributes a large portion towards the vehicular pollution. One easy and effective way to curb this pollution is to improve public transport system. This has many advantages from conserving fuel for future generations to improving the quality of air to saving the citizen’s time and money. 
  • Creating “villages” within cities: Another thing that is equally important is, improving walkability and creating separate bicycle paths. Offices, stores, and other public spaces should all be within walking distance from a housing unit. Creating a “village” within a city will encourage more involvement of the people in governance and will give them a unique identity. This will also help in reducing crime and fraudulent activities. 
  • Public spaces and amenities: Having common areas where people can meet, relax and enjoy is of vital importance. Green open spaces, public art galleries, performance stages, jogging paths, children’s play equipment, exercise equipment, pet parks, etc. should be accessible to all. 
  • Harnessing anchor institutions to its fullest: Advanced industries and institutions have products, technologies, and laboratories that they use for their research and development purposes. These institutions need to be more interconnected so that no only their resources, but also their talented and skilled workforce is fully utilized. 

Governments at different levels need to be actively involved in designing and implementing these changes. A large amount of fund will be needed to finance these projects. It is important to attract the institutional investors and raise funds via different methods to make sure it sees the light of the day as early as possible.