SHAPING CITIES OF THE FUTURE | Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents

SHAPING CITIES OF THE FUTURE

2020-09-13

SUSTAINABILITY is a common trait shared by nation building and property development, which is to ensure the needs of the present are met and the needs of the future are not compromised.

A good nation builder would always take up a parental role and ensure their citizens do well, and a good property developer will do likewise.

For Sunway Property, sustainability is a commitment that they hold dear when it comes to developing buildings and spaces.

“We aim towards building sustainable ecosystems that are resilient,” said Sunway Property managing director Sarena Cheah.

“Sunway Property does not only build and sell buildings and homes, we have the ability to masterplan, manage and operate entire townships and all their components including residential, healthcare, education, retail, hospitality and entertainment.

“We see ourselves in a unique position as a master community developer to shape the communities of tomorrow.”

A great example is Sunway City Kuala Lumpur. From a barren mining land 40 years ago, it has flourished into a thriving township with a growing population of 200,000 amidst a landscape of 30,000 trees and headquarters to many global companies.

“We care for the communities and the diverse centres of excellence have enabled us to extend holistic offerings in terms of healthcare, entertainment, education and economic growth by leveraging on each other’s expertise.

“The plus point of having build-own-operate capabilities is that we can create new solutions for optimised urban living.

“For instance, we can work with our healthcare arm to create assisted living homes for the ageing community, or work with our education institution’s researchers to develop next generation smart township solutions such as driverless electric buses,” said Cheah.

People in mind

Sunway Property believes that how cities are built today determines the future.

“For us, we focus on the benefits of three segments in our cities – people, planet and prosperity.

“Planet is the green perspective. Our townships are built with the environment in mind and comprise 30% to 40% greenery.

“However, if people live unsustainably, it defeats the purpose of green features no matter the excellent rankings and rating. So, we also focus on educating and promoting awareness on sustainable living,” she said.

Designed with people in mind, Sunway’s “15-minute townships” allow residents to live, learn, work and play within 15 minutes of walking or cycling.

Cheah pointed out that nothing is sustainable unless there is progress and prosperity to share with the people.

“Sunway’s cities are value creators in a lot of ways. With our diverse expertise, we see our townships as the epicentre of collaborative effort and economic growth that enrich lives – to build the urban future that we need,” she said.

Sustainability initiatives

Among Sunway’s many initiatives is the Urban Living Labs platform which brings together collaborators across the nation to work with researchers and innovators of Sunway City Kuala Lumpur to test new solutions for the urban future. Current research includes driverless buses for the township’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, solar-powered water filtration and carbon capture technology.

To encourage community farming and create a self-sustainable community, Sunway Property collaborated with iLabs to build Sunway Future X Farm – a 50,000sqft innovation hub featuring indoor and outdoor farming areas, R&D centre, training and collaborative spaces as well as a café.

The Food CPR (Compost, Plant, Reduce) initiative converts food waste contributed by its F&B operators within Sunway City Kuala Lumpur into bio-organic compost, and are free for the public to collect and use.

Digital transformation is the force that moves businesses forward and Sunway Group has been investing in technology advancement since 2000.

“One of the key enablers to exponentially magnify our impact towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is the deeper integration of technology into the way we build, own, operate and serve our communities.

“For instance, in Sunway Iskandar, we pioneered and piloted the first digitally customised homes – Sunway GRID – so that consumers can customise their homes.

“We also have the Live Chatbot, the first AI messenger chatbot across websites, mobile apps, and Facebook in the property developer industry. It is an artificial intelligence software that can simulate a conversation or a chat with a user.

“For education, the recent launch of Sunway Education Group’s 42KL marked the world-renowned and revolutionary coding school’s opening in Malaysia and also is one of the first such campuses in South-East Asia.

“To advance smart township solutions with 5G connectivity, we have entered into a partnership with Celcom Axiata and Huawei Technologies, and Sunway City Kuala Lumpur will be the launch pad,” she shared.

Change for the better

More than just building homes and facilities, the group believes in creating transformative change and bringing positivity into people’s lives.

Cheah urges all Malaysians, on this Malaysia Day, to reflect on nationhood especially in these pandemic times.

“Be thankful to all of those involved in keeping the nation safe and the many who have come together to help one another.

“This has certainly strengthened us Malaysians in spirit despite being physically isolated,” she said.

Aptly timed in conjunction with the National Day and Malaysia Day, Sunway Group has kick-started its #SunwayforGood Food Bank programme with the theme “Teguh Bersama” to bring together Malaysians in the spirit of helping the low income B40 group families threatened by hunger due to the pandemic.

The initiative runs until Dec 31 and pledges to collect 40,000kg of food, with the aim to surpass that target by end 2020 which will feed 25,000 individuals in B40 families.

The public can make donations at collection boxes in seven participating malls – Sunway Pyramid Mall, Sunway Putra Mall, Sunway Velocity Mall, Sunway Giza Mall, Sunway Geo, Sunway Citrine Hub and Sunway Big Box Retail Park.

Meanwhile, to express gratitude and appreciation to the frontliners for their sacrifices, Sunway Property rolled out the “You Are Heroku” campaign in conjunction with National Day and Malaysia Day.

The public is encouraged to join the movement by posting photos on Instagram with a “You are Heroku” sign and hashtag #YouAreHeroku in the caption.

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