Developers push ahead in social infra development
Developers are inclined toward making provisions for public open space as the demand for such communities are high
Real estate and master developers in the region are engaging more in building privately owned public spaces in the social infrastructure segment.
Speaking to Construction Week, Steven Velegrinis, director – cities and sites at Perkins+Will said that developers are more inclined toward making provisions for public open space as they see the demand for such communities.
He added: “There is an entrepreneurial approach to social infrastructure. So, you look at projects such as Dubai Healthcare City, which is basically looking at social infrastructure as a commercial activity.
“I think that extends all kinds of social infrastructure and, even projects such as correctional institutions are being increasingly more privatised.
“In public spaces, developers are providing privately owner developments. So, I think it’s a trend, in this region, but not only in this region, for the private provision of public good. That’s a very interesting kind of social infrastructure where we see a very hard-nosed private developers looking at.”
He also noted that the Gulf has become a region that is attracting people from across the globe to move to on a permanent basis.
Velegrinis explained: “It is now [grown into] a place to live rather than spend a year or two and move on, and in terms of social infrastructure what that means is people are demanding better standards of healthcare, schooling, and all social infrastructure facilities.”
Velegrinis also noted that there has been a boom in the development of wellness communities that not necessarily medical or healthcare related.
“Wellness-related communities are increasingly becoming common in the master planning and urban design space such as hospital aided schools or medical-cluster aided schools, to resort communities with a wellness retreat.
“We’re seeing everywhere in the region, and slightly beyond, development of such projects. And Perkins+Wills is working on many a projects, also in Morocco are working on a master plan for a wellness destination,” he pointed out.
The firm is also involved in the development of The Mount in Muscat, which is Oman’s next wellness living, lifestyle, and luxury development offering multi-levels of public and private activities, and lifestyle embedded within the terrain.
The project's Phase 1 and 2 are scheduled to be completed in 2025, according to Perkins+Will.