Sustainable Real Estate in the Developing World
Table of contents(14 chapters)
This chapter aims to examine the linkages between urbanisation, real estate investments and sustainability in Turkey. To do so, theoretical and conceptual frameworks were discussed based on literature review. Through mixed-methods research, primary data were collected via questionnaires from relevant 248 company executives while secondary data were collected from relevant institutions. Data on two case study green buildings were also collected through documents from building owners and project and construction managers. The results show that many urban development, transformation and real estate projects are executed without considering sustainability principles. Thus, nationally, mixed-use real estate and green building projects are limited even though a majority of the companies surveyed (85%) designed and executed projects based on a green structure approach. Generally, the costs of green buildings are higher compared to traditional buildings. There is the need for strategic spatial plans based on reliable cadastre systems, targeting national and regional development in using existing resources efficiently and paying attention to the importance of environmental quality. For the efficiency of real estate markets, advanced real estate market and financing systems and the integration of sustainability principles into decision-making process in planning, design, construction and operation phases of projects should be considered.
Sustainable features are gradually becoming important considerations by commercial real estate users. This is because of their considered impact in reducing operating costs and potential at reducing the negative impacts of buildings on human health and the natural environment. This chapter sought to examine the demands for sustainable features by users of commercial real estate like offices in Lagos State, Nigeria. It also evaluated the factors influencing demand for them to achieve value for money and enhance real estate investment decisions. The quantitative research methodology was adopted, and primary data were collected via questionnaires distributed to 134 purposively selected estate surveying firms in the study area. Ninety-five representing (70.9%) were returned and found useable and were analysed with the aid of descriptive statistics of percentages, mean and relative willingness index. The study found that power/energy-saving features are in high demand as alternatives to the epileptic nature of power supply in the country. The study recommended the need for the government to encourage the adoption and incorporation of locally made sustainable features in commercial real estate and to subsidise them for use in the Lagos commercial real estate market. Thus, it is concluded that with the right environment created by policy makers, sustainable features in buildings have huge potentials to contribute to prevent environmental problems in an emerging commercial real estate market like Nigeria.
Real estate sustainability is of high importance around the globe, as effects of global warming are accelerating. Development cannot be denied to any country, irrespective of their status. The emerging economies around the world are putting new stress on the environment as they develop. Romania is one of the developing countries, and will it be able to switch to sustainable development in the near future? This chapter aims to highlight Romania's perspective regarding real estate sustainability. The chapter has shown that (1) even though the country submitted to various conditions that were part of policies concerning the environment and greenhouse gas emissions when it became a member state of the European Union in 2007, progress with the implementation of such conditions is rather slow and behind schedule; (2) both the private and public sectors have not shown the required interest in using low or zero carbon dioxide materials in real estate development and developers' primary aim is to maximise profits and, therefore, make minimum adjustments to comply with the current demand and expectations with respect to energy efficiency and green buildings; (3) illegal deforestation is high, which has a big impact on the environment, and regarding waste management, the country has key challenges and, thus, is at risk of non-compliance with the 2020 municipal waste recycling targets; and (4) air quality is poor and continues to be a problem due to pollution from the transport and energy sectors. In light of these findings, Romania needs to increase its energy production from fossil fuels to renewables and have a better recycling policy and a higher awareness regarding the environment. Further efforts aimed at developing new programmes in education and subsidies policies to encourage a more sustainable future are needed.
As population grows, industries blossom and demand for space increases, cities become the centre point for myriads of challenges for urban administrators. This chapter investigated challenges of urban development, land use changes and environmental impacts resulting from pressure on urban land. The study was primarily qualitative in nature and adopted a case study approach. The city of Ndola was selected for this purpose. Four institutions, namely, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Water Resources Management Agency (WARMA), Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) and Ndola City Council (NCC), were used for data collection. At each institution, one official was purposively selected by management based on their knowledge and experience on the subject. The primary data were collected mainly through semi-structured questionnaires in face-to-face interviews. The chapter concludes that pressure for development land has resulted in increased demand for change of use, allocation and construction in environmentally vulnerable areas such as the Kafubu and Itawa River basins and their tributaries. This has further resulted in serious threats to the environment due to pollution of water sources from domestic and industrial waste. The chapter though argues that tools for overcoming these challenges are already provided for in the legislation, it is the implementation and effective coordination among agencies charged with planning, land allocation, water distribution and protection of the environment, such as ZEMA, WARMA, KWSC and NCC, which is lacking. Considering the foregoing, it is recommended that land and water administrative systems should be improved through among other things, effective consultation between various agencies involved in environmental management, zero tolerance to illegal land allocation and effective implementation of statutes.
In recent years, a great deal of work has emerged on eco-cities in China. Specifically, writers have discussed the role of the entrepreneurial state in the construction of eco-cities and have noted the role of these cities in the production of high-end real estate and new forms of capital accumulation and land acquisition. Whilst this chapter supports these arguments, we argue that the emergence of eco-cities in China is tied up with broader socioeconomic and cultural discourses and discourses of governance. We explore these ideas through a qualitative investigation of an eco-city known as the North Lake (Beihu) Ecological New Town (NLENT) located in the city of Jining, Shandong province. Specifically, this project, which involved the collection of documents, photographs and 20 semi-structured interviews, aims to understand the role that discourses of class, taste and consumption play in the fashioning of Chinese eco-cities. In exploring discourses of ‘green conduct’, this chapter also seeks to understand the role of eco-cities in the governmental fashioning of Chinese subjects and bodies. In this regard, this chapter suggests that whilst new forms of green development have played a part in urban expansion, new green real estate zones such as the NLENT have a powerful role to play in the construction and shaping of Chinese identity and behaviour.
The United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals (SDGs) that became effective at the commencement of January 2016 constitute a global community agreement calling for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. This chapter looks at the nexus between real estate (RE) and SDGs by investigating the extent to which Ghana's RE sector incorporates, especially, environmental sustainability principles from the design and construction stages to occupation, operation and activities aimed at helping to solve the problem of climate change, thereby, contributing to achieving the SDGs. The chapter is theoretical and, therefore, heavily reliant on critical review of relevant extant literature. The chapter has shown that RE cuts across virtually all the sectors that contribute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which over the years have generally been increasing. Only a few buildings in both the private and public sectors (six located in three of the 16 administrative regions in the country) are officially classified as green based on three sustainability-rating systems currently used in the country, which suggests that the uptake of green building technologies (GBTs) is rather low leading to the conclusion that at the moment, the RE sector is not contributing much towards the attainment of the SDGs. However, it may be the case that there are buildings, which are sustainable in one form or the other, but because they have not been officially certified, they are not regarded as green – employing the services of the sustainability-rating agencies to certify buildings involve significant costs that might serve as a barrier in accessing their services. Thus, there is the need for country-wide, large-scale studies that systematically investigate the uptake of GBTs in the private and public RE sectors (not necessarily based on using the rating systems) as that may reveal the actual uptake of GBTs and what can be done policy-wise based on the outcomes of such studies.
Urbanisation, environmental sustainability and property markets are intertwined. Consequently, studies on any of these three topics need to take the other two topics into consideration. By critically reviewing 33 hedonic pricing studies in 16 key journals in the urban studies and environmental policies areas, we summarise quantitative evidence on the price of environmental externalities resulting from China's urbanisation process. We find that Chinese residents are willing to pay more for the access to green space and waterbody as well as the treatment of urban pollution. The cost and benefit of these amenities and disamenities have already been capitalised in house prices. The central and local government in China can leverage market force to encourage, support and facilitate sustainable urban development and environmental protection, instead of directly intervening in the property market by using public resources. Meanwhile, the estimated hedonic price of Urban Green, Urban Blue and Urban Grey helps policymakers to understand the cost and benefit of their urban development decisions. Our review of the papers on Urban Green, Urban Blue and Urban Grey suggests that there have been promising and encouraging development in studies on all three topics in the last decade. The quality and quantity of hedonic price research has been improving notably. However, it is also clear that there is virtually no empirical evidence from the second- or third-tier cities, particularly, regarding Urban Green and Urban Blue investigations. The small number of existing hedonic studies is far from sufficient to draw reliable conclusions about the costs of environmental externality for cities that have not been studied. What works in first-tier cities may not hold elsewhere in China due to the large geographical variation in natural endowment, economic development status and local customs. There are many pieces that are missing from this big picture. More hedonic price studies are needed.
The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the adoption and use of building information modelling (BIM) for residential real estate development in Nigeria (using Lagos as a case study), with a view to providing information towards improving BIM uptake, which could enhance sustainable housing delivery in the country. A quantitative research methodology was adopted involving the use of questionnaire survey to collect primary data. The data were obtained from private real estate developers in Lagos State. The self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all the 72 active real estate developers in the study area, and the response rate was 62.5%. The collected data were analysed using statistical tools such as frequency and percentages, mean rating and chi-square. The results revealed a low level of awareness and usage of the transformative and contemporary BIM technology (6D BIM version) by real estate developers. It was established that the 2D and 3D BIM traditional versions were the most utilised across the phases of real estate development process. It was also found that the level of BIM utilisation has a significant relationship with the age and asset base of the real estate developers. The chapter concludes by advocating increase in the asset base and organisational profile of real estate developers to enhance BIM adoption, especially, the 6D BIM, which could facilitate sustainable real estate development.
Although a basic need, housing and its development activities impinge on the environment. As part of efforts to promote sustainability, there have been several initiatives since the Brundtland Commission's work in 1987 to minimise the adverse impact of housing development activities on the environment in the developing world such as sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This chapter explores housing development activities in Ghana within the context of environmental sustainability based on the extant literature. The aim is to examine the state and promotion of environmental sustainability in the housing development sector. The chapter establishes that although there are some efforts to promote environmental sustainability within the housing development sector, uptake of environmental sustainability practices has been less satisfactory due to lack of incentives as stakeholders perceive that environmentally sustainable homes are more expensive than conventional ones. The chapter, therefore, recommends further investigations into the cost and benefit of environmentally sustainable homes as well as other drivers in Ghana to give additional insights to provide the appropriate doses of incentives both contrived and instinctive to drive uptake.
COVID-19 and Sustainability
The world has been witnessing a new dreadful disease since the latter part of 2019. The disease known as the novel coronavirus disease often referred to as COVID-19 originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan in the Hubei province and has since spread across the world resulting in the World Health Organisation to declare it a global pandemic. Whilst it appears obvious that the pandemic continues to generate several impacts, knowledge of the true idea, nature and extent of the impacts is scanty, partly because the disease is novel, ongoing and an antidote is yet to be found for it as well as the fact that no or little systematic studies have been conducted into the impacts and the results codified. This study, therefore, explores the global overview of the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 based on evidence in the literature. The chapter found that several measures such as imposition of partial or total lockdowns, social distancing and stay-at-home policies, wearing of face masks and the use of gloves and hand sanitizers have been instituted to contain the pandemic since its outbreak. Apart from 4,766,468 infections with 318,201 deaths, which had occurred as at 19 May 2020 and are still counting, the measures instituted have resulted in increase in domestic energy consumption, generation of waste pollution, contraction in production, loss of income and jobs, disruption in market activities and depreciation in asset prices and values across the various sectors of the world's economy, increases in domestic violence and limited access to health services among others. Conversely, the pandemic has partly resulted in positive outcomes such as reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and boost in the operations of the ITC and other allied industries. However, in broad terms, it is a huge threat to sustainable development (SD) and gains made in that regard over the years are eroding. Furthermore, although there have been interventions from governments, United Nations and other international development organisations to ease the adverse impacts, more such interventions and efforts will be required to put the SD agenda on track.
Progress under sustainability principles is now widely accepted as the goal that every society should pursue. Whilst the built environment has imbibed these sustainability principles just like many other sectors, scholarly works that bring together experiences of real estate and sustainability are limited. Contributors to this book in accordance with the aim of the book examine real estate and sustainability in the developing world drawing on experiences from several countries. This conclusion chapter summarises the discussions in the book highlighting implications and prospects. The chapter notes that the threat to the destruction of the environment in the developing world is real and the real estate and urban development sector is at the forefront of this threat. Furthermore, although adoption of sustainability principles is seen as very relevant to abate the threat, progress in uptake of the principles within the real estate and urban development sector has rather been slow due to lack of incentives, funding, technology and robust policies; inadequate knowledge and awareness; and poor planning among others. Changes in practices from business as usual to ones which promote effective planning, building knowledge and databases through research and increase in funding for sustainable projects and education among other things as ways to improve uptake are proposed with the recognition of huge prospect for developing countries to overcome the current situation given recent initiatives and available knowledge.
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