The very talked-about concept, ‘walk-to-work’ is gaining momentum as builders and architects lean forward to develop housing, commercial premises, institutions, healthcare facilities, entertainment zone, shopping centres in the vicinity of each other. Apart from the fact that walking to work has multiple health advantages, it also has a positive effect on our environment and pollution status.
This is resulting in a lot of the new housing centres that are planned to build in the vicinity of everything—starting from the very accommodation to the workplace, school, shopping centres etc.
Describing the growth story of the suburbs, Mr Rajat Rastogi, Executive Director, Runwal Group said, “With the rapid growth of upmarket towers, retail outlets, and commercial establishments, there is a swift transformation in the suburban skyline. Numerous tall towers have marked their presence and more are coming. The infrastructure developments also have played their role in seamlessly connecting the suburbs to other locations such as Navi Mumbai, Thane, and South Mumbai.
The emergence of a vibrant lifestyle in the region along with the presence of top-notch brands, malls, and restaurants, has provided the home buyers with access to a high street living. Due to these factors, homebuyers are now looking for destinations that are an enviable mix of convenience and leisure. With many Central Business Districts (CBDs) such as BKC, Vikhroli, Powai, Airoli & Navi Mumbai; the walk-to-work concept has become extremely convenient for working professionals who are residing in such locations.”
The inevitable challenges of a working citizen every day regarding traffic and more have led to influence many people to go for the concept of ‘walk to work’, especially in the metropolitan cities. Owning a house near to their workplace is a dream for many due to the hustle of traffic.
In cities like Bangalore, Kolkata, and Mumbai, where traffic gets on everyone’s nerve, opting for ‘walk-to-work’. Also, in cities like Mumbai, where the rainy season’s spell is cast for more than half of the year, integrated complexes are becoming a “dream come true” situation for home buyers. Research shows that travelling in transport in busy office hours can take almost double the time than that of walking.
Mr Anuj Khetan, Director, Vijay Khetan Group says, “Walk to work has always been a dream for most employees but it is only accessible to the top management as the prices of residential apartments are at a premium at designated business districts like Nariman Point, BKC & Andheri East followed by Goregaon and Malad. Upcoming Metro connectivity in Mumbai will be a boon making more affordable northern suburbs of Mumbai more accessible to designated commercial hubs as mentioned earlier. Renting apartments close to work has been seen as a new trend.”
Millennials in special have grabbed the concept whole-heartedly. Many developers have come up with such projects that intend to reduce the office travelling time to zilch. Nowadays, homebuyers prefer staying in studio apartments or compact homes irrespective of the price value if it is in the vicinity of their respective workspaces. Commute today has become the utmost priority.
Commenting on the importance of this trend, Mr Bhasker Jain – Head Sales, Marketing & CRM, The Wadhwa Group says, "Our cities are distinctly divided between a few business districts and many scattered, often far off residential areas. Reaching to the workplace has become a challenge. Long and stressful commute to the workplace is damaging work-life balance. Such modality is affecting the physical and mental health of the population. To make the ‘walk-to-work’ concept viable, the planning of our cities is essential.
As India is witnessing a notable economic growth in recent years, the increasing momentum of the concept is leading to some major constructive consequences. Living in an infrastructure that is well-connected with its surroundings, with offices, daily conveniences, etc. has become the need of the hour."
In a case study of Mumbai, we see soaring prices in the South driving the commercial hubs towards the North of the city. Therefore places like BKC, Andheri, and Goregaon have evolved as an alternative and viable option for commercial spaces.
This shift is fuelling the momentum of the concept, ‘walk to work’ and the modern homebuyers are now looking out for apartments that are closer to their workplace.