CRE and 15-Minute Cities
People are still working from home. Developers and investors should pay attention.
Happy New Year, everyone! A new year means it’s time to move forward with optimism, work on keeping those resolutions for more than two weeks and start laying groundwork for a better and more productive year (like starting to diversify your music playlist now so that your Spotify Wrapped is less embarrassing at the end of the year, because despite the analytics, you’re not actually a tween who solely listens to Taylor Swift). And that’s just the thing. Because while there are always surprises (um, once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, anyone?), analyzing the past and looking at trends can help us prepare for the future.
So what will the new year bring for CRE? While there is always the possibility of the unexpected, commercial developers, investors and service providers have a pretty good idea about what we can expect— namely, market stabilization, a focus on sustainability and greater transaction volume.
Something newish that will be gaining steam in 2023? According to reporting by Jeffrey Steele for “Top 10 CRE Trends for 2023,” start paying attention to 15-minute cities. This term, which was coined by Carlos Moreno, a scientific director & professor at the University of Paris, refers to an urban center where people can get to everything they need with a short walk or bike ride. (So I guess I live in a 15-minute Jersey suburb, because I can drive to any mall or diner in 15 minutes, but that, admittedly, is not as cool.) And convenience isn’t the only benefit: 15-minute cities can boost their local economies, are more inclusive and are inherently greener than traditional cities.
The idea of a 15-minute city “has taken off since the pandemic,” Karin Brandt, founder & CEO of coUrbanize, told Steele. And while during lockdown the appeal was clear, there is a reason these urban areas are still taking off: People want to be closer to services, job opportunities, supplies and more. Many are still working from home, as well. According to Forbes, 25 percent of all American jobs were remote by the end of 2022, and this percentage is projected to increase in 2023. As fewer and fewer people commute to areas with amenities such as restaurants, museums and theaters (and less sexy businesses such as dry cleaners, grocery stores and post offices), having centralized areas for residents becomes even more important.
What else is in store for 2023? Read “Top 10 CRE Trends for 2023” for additional insights. And here’s to a happy and prosperous year!