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Green districts – suburbs of the future

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green environment

By 2025, the world would have added another 65 million inhabitants, each fighting for their share of livable space. Global governments are already working on building infrastructures that would support the growing populations every year. In fact, by 2025 India will need to add the equivalent of a city the size of Chicago to its existing floor space to support the growth in population – and China’s population is growing at twice that rate.

The way the world is being built now will determine how human civilization will deal with natural resource management, waste management and sustainability in the near future.

Sustainable Development  

It is evident that the concept of sustainability will have to transcend its current confines. No longer can we talk merely of green homes as the answer to all our urbanization woes. No doubt, green homes projects are pockets of excellence, but their positive impact at a city level is minimal at best.

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In India, where unregulated urbanization has created serious deficits at all levels, green districts are a viable solution. These districts are all about taking the concept of environmental sustainability and sustainable real estate development beyond green homes and sustainable townships, and to create entire new suburbs that function on those lines.

New suburbs – Mini ‘Smart Cities’

The Modi government’s Smart Cities program is a clear indicator that the need for more sustainable urbanization has been recognized. However, the current scramble among various cities to qualify under this program indicates that its primary message has still not been understood. It is not about winning the race to win the prize – it is about making a concerted effort to improve the way our cities are run – about making them more livable and future-ready.

Regardless of the Smart Cities movement, it is possible for cities to create their own green districts – large urban areas where the normal flow of development has been reinvented and redirected so as to create an oasis of sustainability. In fact, green districts are the requisite building blocks of future cities all over the world. So what exactly are they?

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Green Districts

Green districts are urban areas which not only allow sufficient floor space to the increasing population density but also employ design elements and techniques that minimize pollution and the exploitation of natural resources. Overall, green districts integrate design principles that will support a transit-oriented, dense and mixed development that considers renewable energy as a means of power production.

While this looks good on paper, the concept in fact requires a great deal of agility and fine-tuning – green districts need to be small enough to innovate quickly but big enough to have an impact. The ideal geographical size of a green district is, in fact, that of a newly emerging suburb in a city like Pune.

green city

Below are some of the reasons why green districts will become indispensable in the near future:

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Economic Viability

Green solutions are not necessarily achieved at lower costs than the conventional alternatives –  in fact, it is no secret that green residential projects involve a significantly higher cost to developer. This is also true to green districts, wherein the construction cost of everything from residential and commercial spaces to support infrastructure would be higher by 10%.

However, this cost if justified by a lower annual operating costs. Within three to five years – which is the period it takes for most new suburbs to attain functional viability – green districts can ‘break even’ on the cost of creating them.

The true value of green districts is in the massive positive impact that that they have in terms of improved environmental quality, urban climate and matchless investment opportunities. As long as they are planned intelligently from the ground up and incorporate the right technologies, green districts are by far the most economically viable urban configurations.

‘Repaired’ Environment

Green districts follow construction practices that reduce a suburban area’s energy consumption by as much as about 20–50%, while simultaneously rationalizing water consumption by 50-60%. Further, green districts generate 25% less solid wastes, making the available land more viable for both farming and living and reducing the dependence on environmentally destructive landfills

Improved Quality Of Life

A gentler natural environment automatically equals more comfortable, healthy and wholesome living space for humans. Conventional cities grow to become congested, which inevitably leads to increased cost of living and pollution. Green districts are therefore an important tool for the revitalization of our urban spaces.

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Arvind Jain
Arvind Jain
Arvind Jain, Managing Director - Pride Group, , a world-class property development conglomerate that is changing the cityscapes of Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore. Established in 1996, Pride Group has built and delivered over 10 million sq.ft. of constructed area. Pride Group has recently launched  Pride World City a 400-acre luxury mega-township at Charoli, Pune.


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