Real estate players can export expertise globally: Vivian Balakrishnan

Real estate players in the Republic can actively grow and export their expertise and technology to cities around the world, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said on Monday (Sep 29).

Speaking at the KPMG Global Real Estate and Construction Conference, Dr Balakrishnan drew the analogy of the water industry, which within a decade managed to generate 55 per cent of Singapore’s water needs through desalination and recycling water.

He said: “We took technology, we prototyped it, we upscaled it and we made it a national project. In one decade, we have converted an existential vulnerability into a global opportunity for our water companies. In the same way, we need our building companies and our real estate industry to convert global strategic threats posed by demographic, climate change and resource depletion issues.”

In his keynote address, Dr Balakrishnan also outlined the impact of mega-trends globally, including ageing population, urbanisation and digital technology. He said the future lies with the development of green sustainable smart cities, and that this presents “enormous opportunities”.

Dr Balakrishnan called on the public and private sectors – as well as individuals – to push for the development of green buildings and to pursue wider collaboration within the industry. He added that building owners can also become the stewards of public spaces around their properties, and make them more walkable through the use of public art or greenery.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 29 Sep 2014

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