The responsibility of the real estate market in the development of metropolises
Real estate market - Amidst the economic recovery, urban niceties and reserve areas within the developments to serve as public space will be necessary
The pandemic has cast doubts on the development of cities and on how they should evolve from now on. This is a time of uncertainty and so we must quickly understand the unprecedented opportunity to rethink the way we produce buildings and public spaces, as well as the way they connect with the streets and with people. Rethinking our practices has never been more necessary. Previous generations pointed to a more humane city. This idea makes me remember a little of the history I know and think about what kind of history we, from São Paulo now, want to write. estate market
As a child, I remember visiting museums where there were images and models of medieval cities, with their impassable walls and towers where guards were positioned to fight back the actions of invaders. What impressed me most was imagining the difficulty of living at that time, the lack of infrastructure, running water, sewage collection and electricity, things that today we take for granted — or, at least, that they should be.
It is hard to see that we Brazilians have not evolved at this point as much as we should have. In the 21st century, half of the population still lacks basic sanitation. Millions of people live under the same conditions (or lack of them) that were lived in the Middle Ages, not for nothing dubbed the Dark Ages.
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Cities originate from exactly this point, in the perception that, by living close to each other, we could all benefit from services and facilities capable of improving our health, our productivity and developing our potentials. Urban migration demonstrates how cities are poles of attraction, especially for those seeking better living conditions and a better future.
Unfortunately, this is often what they fail to deliver. The evolution of cities is also a story of inequalities, mainly economic and spatial. Instead of facing the problem, people with better financial conditions opted for isolationism, which harms not only those who do not have the same conditions, but urban life as a whole. As in the Middle Ages, they prefer to hide behind armored walls. The wall may seem like an easy solution at first glance, but it is consolidating a number of problems.
At this time of economic recovery, it is up to the real estate market to assume its share of responsibility in urban development. Reserving areas within the developments to serve as public space, offering urban amenities such as works of art to be appreciated at street level, investing in the preservation of listed properties or even renovating and widening sidewalks brings great collective positive effects. The pandemic showed us that we are more vulnerable than we thought, but it is also showing our strengths and capacity for articulation. It is up to us, together with the government, to use them in favor of everyone.
Another important point is to seek more sustainable alternatives for our sector. The construction of an apartment is twenty times more polluting during the construction period than during its entire useful life. Companies need to become aware of and face the problem, reducing emissions and offsetting their effects with the purchase of carbon credits, something we have been doing since 2008 and which has allowed us to neutralize more than 100,000 tons, the equivalent of planting 700,000 trees or removing 20 000 cars on the road for one year. market
My grandparents landed in Brazil in 1940 from Poland. In this group of immigrants, there was a young man who would become one of the main references of modernist architecture in São Paulo: Lucjan (Luciano) Korngold (1897-1963). Trained as an architect-engineer in Warsaw, he already had enough experience to create some of the most innovative works of that time. My grandfather was an industrialist and was part of a group that invested in the real estate market, valuing the architectural innovations of the time. Among the buildings, with Korngold, he made Vista Alegre, Rio Claro and Edifício Higienópolis, one of the first properties sold in the plant, breaking with the current model of selling units only when they are ready. A short time ago, I learned from Vejinha that Korngold himself lived in the penthouse in his last years of life.
There was also the opening of Avenida Paulista as a corporate center. On the 7th floor of Edifício Grande Avenida, also in Korngold, we made our headquarters. When the first big fire broke out, the improvised team had to be accommodated on the slab of another building that was being built nearby. We were privileged to work with Gian Carlo Gasperini (1926-2020) and Carlos Bratke (1942-2017), who also contributed to both residential and corporate projects. real estate market
Years later, we glimpsed the chance to reconcile real estate development with heritage preservation. We participated in the development of the building located on the land of Casa das Rosas and were able to repeat the feat a short time ago, building a corporate property to live with the mansion where the Gula Gula restaurant is located, recently mentioned in a Vejinha report on heritage preservation.
All these works continue to reaffirm the importance of creating and maintaining a good relationship between buildings and the city, of valuing their use by people, of dialoguing with the public space. It is essential to believe in architecture and allow these professionals to qualify the insertion of projects. We are proud and know the importance of continuing to work with names of excellence, such as Isay Weinfeld, Arthur Casas, Marcio Kogan, aflalo/gasperini, PerkinsWill and many others.
Stefan Neuding, president of developer Bramex Realty and vice president of Stan Incorporadora, is director of the International Federation of Real Estate Professions (Fiabci).