The Future of Urban Living – The Sustainable Communities of Tomorrow

By – Akash Pharande, Managing Director – Pharande Spaces

Akash Pharande, Managing Director - Pharande Spaces

I travel a lot to understand how different countries address their urban sprawl because we use such insights to design integrated townships here in India. In fact, one result of these travels was our partnering with a globally acclaimed architect who helped us recreate a global residential experience in India.

However, my main takeaway from this globetrotting has been far less positive – the alarming rate at which rampant urbanization is challenging even the most glamorous world cities.

As cities’ populations overflow, traditional urban infrastructure groans and often crumbles under the strain of housing demands. Did you think that overcrowding and declining living standards are the order of the day only in India? Far from it – it is a global phenomenon.

The Global Scenario

In the thronged streets of New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong – and even in Berlin, Hamburg, and Stockholm – urban sprawl running wild is in evidence everywhere. In India, we have accepted congestion, pollution, and stressed infrastructure, but be aware that very few countries are exempt from them anymore.

Across the world from Asia to Europe to North America, local governments and expert city planners are implementing the only viable solution. You guessed it – integrated townships.

In Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, self-sufficient, self-contained integrated projects have in fact been at the forefront of urban planning for many decades. Singapore, in particular, is famous for master-planned communities such as Punggol and Tampines, which integrate residential, commercial, and recreational facilities to create vibrant and self-sustaining neighborhoods.

-township-

In the UAE, integrated developments like Dubai Marina and Masdar City deliver comprehensive living and working environments for residents. In Europe, Sweden and the Netherlands have embraced the concept of integrated townships to promote sustainable urban development.

Stockholm and Amsterdam have pioneered eco-friendly neighbourhoods that prioritize walking, cycling, and public transportation while incorporating green spaces and mixed-use developments.

In North America, integrated townships have gained traction in response to urban sprawl and the growing trend for more walkable and inclusive communities. Vancouver in Canada and Portland in the United States have implemented policies to encourage mixed-use development and compact urban forms.

This approach has given rise to highly integrated neighborhoods that provide everything their residents will ever need – living spaces, offices to work in, as well as shopping malls and recreational amenities.

Integrated Living – No Alternatives

If this sounds like a marketing prospectus for a modern integrated township in India, it’s because while we certainly haven’t pioneered the concept, we have certainly caught on to it big time. And for good reasons.

A report by international property consultants JLL India entitled ‘Livability quotient – a paradigm shift in India’s emerging cities’ puts it very aptly – “A balanced lifestyle contributes highly to the livability quotient of a city or township,” it states. “Amenities for leisure and recreation such as sports facilities, gymnasiums, clubhouses, malls and shopping streets are considered lifestyle amenities and are much appreciated by users.”

“Townships managed by private developers have an advantage over cities managed by local governments. The high level of interaction that happens between a township developer and customers naturally enables a focused delivery of services.”

I guess there’s no better way of putting it. As our larger cities draw more and more inward migration because of their employment prospects, we certainly need better solutions to house everyone. India’s growing upper-level middle class expects to find housing that multi-tasks and delivers on their lifestyle preferences.

What better solution for this than integrated mixed-use developments where they can seamlessly transition between living, working, and leisure activities without enduring long commutes?

As the successful eco-cities of Scandinavia and the master-planned communities of Singapore and the UAE demonstrate, integrated townships are a concept whose time has come – and is, in fact, by now an imperative in India.

intergrated township

A Long Way to Go

As Anarock Property Consultants put it, the growing demand for integrated townships in India has risen even more in the wake of changing housing preferences post-pandemic. However, despite the increased interest, integrated townships still represent only a fraction of the total housing supply in India. Since 2010, only about 2% of all housing projects in the top seven cities fell in this category,

Clearly, we are missing something important here.

India is a nation at a crossroads in its urbanization journey. Rapid population growth, rural-urban migration, and fragmented urban planning have spawned a host of challenges, from sprawling urban sprawl to choked traffic arteries and polluted air. The need for holistic urban planning has never been more pressing.

Integrated townships offer hope amidst this urban chaos. With the government’s ambitious plans to create smart cities and revitalize urban infrastructure in a country where land scarcity, fragmented development, and outdated infrastructure are the norm, there is quite simply no other solution.

Without integrated townships, the status quo in India is frankly unsustainable. With every passing year, our trajectory of urbanization is spiraling further out of control – with far-reaching consequences on our society, our environment, and our economy.

Beyond just bricks and mortar, integrated townships also serve as catalysts for economic growth and building strong, wholesome and supportive communities. They provide local employment opportunities, reduce dependence on city centers, offer higher returns on investment, and provide a holistic solution to the many challenges we face in our cities.

About the Author:

Akash Pharande is Managing Director – Pharande Spaces, a leading real estate construction and development firm famous for its township projects in West Pune and beyond. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer of townships in West Pune. With the recent integration of Puneville Commercial into one of its most iconic townships, Pharande Spaces taken a major step towards addressing Pune’s current and future requirements for fully integrated residential-commercial convenience.

Success of CMAI FAB Show 2024 Beckons a Bright Future for India’s Textile & Apparel Industry

Mumbai, April 19, 2024: The Fabrics, Accessories & Beyond Show 2024 (FAB Show 2024), hosted by the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI), wrapped up its 4th edition on a successful note consequently boosting Textile industry sentiments with exceedingly high business prospects. The three-day event, which took place from April 15 to April 17 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, outperformed industry expectations with an estimated business generation of more than 2,100 crores.

The trade show successfully attracted 10,200 trade visitors from 320+ cities across India which included over 1,500 elite platinum buyers. Moreover, overseas buyers from 16 countries mainly Bangladesh, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Hong Kong, USA, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Nepal also visited the show. The presence of sourcing heads from renowned brands and retail majors like Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail, Bestseller, Gokaldas Exports, Kora, Mufti, Pepe Jeans, Reliance Brands, Shoppers Stop, Soch, Stori, Spykar, Westside and many others further boosted industry confidence thus reflecting the event’s importance as a prime sourcing platform.

Speaking about the success of FAB show, Rajesh Masand, President, CMAI expressed, “The impact of this grand sourcing event will resonate across the garment industry supply chain, promising not only immediate business but also long-term strategic developments and new sourcing relationships for all stakeholders involved. The remarkable success of this year’s show reflects a buoyant industry outlook, fuelling optimism for a robust recovery in the upcoming seasons. This resurgence comes at a crucial time as our industry was stressed with tepid demand and recent challenges like the amendment affecting MSME payments. With the positive momentum generated by the FAB Show, there is a renewed confidence that the industry outlook will soon be back on growth path.”

event 2024 10

This year’s FAB Show was a focal point for industry Innovation and Sustainability, showcased by over 200 domestic exhibitors, including major names like Grasim, Arvind, Siyaram’s, Gokul Print, Jindal, Banswara Syntex, Ruby Mills, Bhagwan Enterprise apart from many MSME’s. Noteworthy participants from diverse sectors such as fabric suppliers, accessories manufacturers, and software developers demonstrated their latest offerings and services to a discerning audience.

“FAB Show 2024 has set a new benchmark for success in the textile & apparel industry, reflecting our commitment to driving growth and sustainability,” said Naveen Sainani, Chairman FAB Show, CMAI. The Sustainability zone was a major attraction at the fair which showcased fabrics crafted from waste, recyclable materials and educated about benefits of waste water management promoting innovation & circularity which is a cornerstone of CMAI’s holistic strategy to engage, educate, and inspire the garment industry. He further elaborated “Our environment is changing and if the world can’t avoid deforestation, we need to invest in reforestation. On behalf of the 2876 visitors who pledged to voluntarily become earth warriors, CMAI will be planting 2876 tree saplings to create a healthier environment, fight climate change, and protect biodiversity”.

The Surat Pavilion organized by the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SGCCI) showcased over 40 leading fabric manufacturers for the fourth consecutive edition of FAB. One of the key reasons for the popularity of the Surat pavilion amongst the visitors is their ability to present the latest trends and understand the needs of the garment industry. Speaking about the current business landscape, Siddharth Dhawan, Director, Gokul Tex Print – a leading fabric manufacturer from Surat, expressed, “We have seen a steady growth over the last year, which slowed down in the last few months due to the MSME payment amendment that came in. This year, we are confident that starting June till December, signs of growth will become evident as we deliver the merchandise to manufacturers, which they will provide in the market.” Another participant, Ritesh Patel, Director, Surbhi Textile Mills from Surat said “We received an extraordinary response for all of our products and the presence of buyers from all across the country gave us a great exposure. We are looking forward to participate in the next CMAI show”.

Speaking about their business outlook, Murugan Thenkondar, President – Marketing & Global Head – Business Development, Aditya Birla (Cellulosic Fibres) stated “The export market is facing a lot of turbulence currently and our domestic market has been growing steadily which is the reason we are exhibiting here. CMAI has been highly successful in presenting the textile value chain to participate mainly in cloth manufacturing brands, yarns, weavers, knitters, spinners and fibres thus offering a one-stop-destination to meet sourcing requirements. Distinguishing from other fairs, FAB is an excellent annual platform for the domestic customers and we are seeing a lot of positive energy at the show”.

Sailesh Kukreja, Managing Director, Bhagwan Enterprise from Mumbai elatedly said “We thank CMAI for implementing innovative measures to ensure the presence of buyers from across the country that made the fair a thrilling success. The exhibition was well organized and the on-spot visitor registration process was very swift. The overall publicity campaign was very well designed and consistently created a buzz on social media. We look forward to participating in all upcoming CMAI fairs and hope for a grander success”.

Speaking about Sustainability, J.P. Singh, Director, Ramtex – Parmeshwari Silk Mills from Ludhiana said, “We are committed to Sustainability and have adapted eco-friendly processes to save approximately four lakh litres of water daily. It is heartening to see that consumers are getting more environment-conscious by the day and are preferring eco-friendly fabrics such as ours. Our main markets have been Punjab, Haryana and Delhi; however, we have started receiving increased demand through our distributors from Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Indore too.”

A lucky draw contest was also held on all the three days of the show wherein Rupees 10 lacs worth of scooters, gift cards and holiday vouchers of leading brands were handed out to visitors and exhibitors.