The Societal Consequences of Real Estate Development

What makes you categorize a location as a high, middle, or low-class community? The most common is the real estate properties in the area. Real estate development is the longest driving force in shaping our cities and towns’ physical and socioeconomic landscapes. The built environment defines our daily lives, from towering skyscrapers to sprawling suburban subdivisions. However, the consequences of real estate development go far beyond the physical structures themselves. Let’s explore the societal implications of real estate development and how it impacts our communities, economies, and way of life.

Infrastructure and public services

Why do people like to live in cities and towns? A better life, career growth, improved amenities, and closer to better public services, like good transportation, healthcare, and education. Infrastructure is one of the factors that drive the growth of a place.

The rapid growth of real estate development places pressure on a city’s infrastructure and public services. This is due to people flocking to cities and towns, causing an increase in population and, thus, raising the demand for more housing. This is causing overburdened infrastructure due to traffic congestion, longer commutes, and overwhelmed public services. Overburdening infrastructure is affecting the quality of life for residents.

Smart urban planning and investment in public infrastructure must be implemented to address these challenges. Sustainable development practices, such as building efficient public transportation systems, communication networks, and green spaces, should be enforced to minimize the negative effects of growth on a city’s infrastructure.

Environmental impact

The construction of buildings and infrastructure mostly leads to deforestation, habitat destruction, and increased carbon emissions. For instance, for a new road or railway to be constructed, some people may be forced out of their land or cut down trees if it passes through a forest. Moreover, urban sprawl can lead to the fragmentation of natural landscapes and biodiversity loss.

Sustainable building practices and eco-friendly development initiatives have gained traction to counter these effects. The harsh climate changes have contributed to people becoming more environmentally aware. This has been seen in REITs urging real estate developers, investors, and other stakeholders to build eco-friendly properties.

Concepts like green building certification and developing eco-friendly neighborhoods are becoming more common as demand increases. The commitment is to minimize the environmental footprint of real estate projects.

Affordability and housing accessibility

As cities and towns grow, demand for better housing increases. Property values rise, making it more challenging for low and middle-income people to find houses within their budgets. As such, gentrification occurs, where long-time residents are displaced by higher-income newcomers, causing social and cultural disruption.

Developers, city planners, and governments constantly explore affordable housing initiatives to mitigate these issues. This ensures that mixed-income developments and rent control measures in urban development remain inclusive and accessible to all. You can try these affordable options here in Kenya; for example, Nairobi has a few properties in place. The Kenyan government took up the challenge and started the program early.

Economic opportunities and inequities

Some people are yet to recover from COVID-19’s impacts on their lives. With the loss of jobs, businesses, and other investments, we are now facing climate change and economic inflation. Prices of almost anything are skyrocketing regularly. To some, it’s like adding salt to the wound.

While there is a search for economic opportunities to help cumber the struggles, some are unfair. Real estate development, for instance, can stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and worsen economic disparities.

Hiking property values can cause windfall profits for some property owners while forcing others out of the market. It also makes someone’s dream of owning a property seem a long shot. The jobs created by real estate development, such as construction and property management, provide employment opportunities to many without guaranteeing fair wages and benefits.

To manage these issues, effective strategies must be implemented to promote economic growth and equities. Things like inclusive economic development strategies, affordable housing initiatives, and workforce training programs must be enforced to help ensure that the benefits of real estate development are distributed more equitably. Leveraging a comprehensive Real Estate CRM system can facilitate efficient management and tracking of these initiatives, ensuring a more streamlined and equitable approach to real estate development.

Community and social cohesion

Healthy communities are built on common goals; we grow together. Real estate development can change the social fabric of a community. But, as new developments emerge, present neighborhoods are affected, with residents feeling disrespected and disconnected from their surroundings. Limited spaces to interact are forcing people to stay in their houses, causing disinterest in community activities. At the same time, well-designed developments can foster community engagement by creating spaces for social interaction and cultural events.

Community involvement in the development projects is essential to balance revitalization and preserve existing neighborhoods’ character. Residents, government, and advocacy groups’ inputs must be considered to ensure that development projects align with the community’s needs and values.

Real estate development is vital in the economic growth of a country when well planned. It can foster prosperity and generate complex societal challenges. As communities evolve, real estate development must be approached with a comprehensive understanding of its consequences. Working together can shape a future where real estate development enhances our societies rather than dividing them. Balancing the needs of the present with the preservation of our collective future is the key to successfully navigating the shifting landscape of real estate development.

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