The changing skyline of our city centres


August 19, 2020

Many cities around the world are seeing a huge growth in residential and commercial development on a scale not previously seen. For decades our city centres saw thousands of people leave and move to the suburbs, driven out by poor quality housing and a lack of investment in infrastructure. Today though city centres are often thriving places to live in and work and are as a result, much more attractive places to want to be.

So what’s driving this change?

Perhaps the biggest factor in powering this development has been the growth of Build To Rent property (BTR). These large-scale developments are usually owned and funded by pensions of other investment vehicles, looking to secure long term income for the benefit of investors. Individual investors are also common, often from overseas who are attracted by the high yields on offer.

Of course, securing the investment and building the properties is one thing but you still need people to live in them, so how are developers doing that?

Developers are increasingly looking at building new communities and creating areas of the city that people will work, shop, socialise as well as live in. These facilities all help to make an area and individual development much more attractive.

Many cities such as London in particular have seen significant and large-scale development of ‘luxury’ new living spaces. Billions are being spent on building swanky new apartment blocks with penthouse suites commanding many millions of dollars. It’s clear such properties are attracting a certain type of resident, and as such the properties themselves must deliver what they promise.

Many of the residents are typically younger, affluent types, often working flexibly and who like to be seen to have the latest technology. For developers it’s therefore essential that their properties come equipped accordingly. Residents will be more attracted to a development if it comes with ultrafast full fibre broadband of 1Gbps and beyond or if a property comes with smart living features to make their lives easier and more secure.

Smart cities are very much a growing area of technology. Using full fibre and 5g technology, the places that we live in and work are getting smarter, more intelligent and more attractive. Today’s developments need to be constructed with this smart city ideology in mind. Technology such as CCTV, access control and energy efficiency offers tangible benefits to residents. Constructing a building using full fibre infrastructure provides the ideal base on which developers can offer these solutions to residents and also provide a degree of future-proofing for emerging and future technology developments.

If the growth of inner-city development is to continue, developers and investors must look to the future. Looking for long-term returns? Then they must invest in full fibre technology when planning and constructing their developments. Only full fibre can deliver the connectivity demands of residents and the adoption of smart building and smart city technology. By adopting this approach developments will help to deliver the highest rents, the highest yields and help the communities which they are building to thrive.

Manchester skyline