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What can property managers do to increase liveability?

With the population of some major cities increasing dramatically, liveability of local communities and quality of life for residents is a significant focus for getting planning permission for a new property development over the line.

When considering planning bids, local authorities want to understand how a new development will affect the society, sustainability, environment, economy and culture of their area, measured in quality-of-life factors. The impact on already stained public services, like education and healthcare, are one of the most significant concerns, but with urban areas become more crowded, access to open spaces, increases in traffic and air quality are becoming more prominent issues.

Even once construction is complete, property managers and landlords are still expected to take steps to increase the sustainability of their buildings and improve the liveability of their local communities where the opportunity presents itself. This is particularly true of environmental concerns, with issues like air quality in particular presenting a significant public health concern.

In 2019, research from Imperial College London revealed that toxic air contributed to the premature deaths of around 4,000 Londoners. Some cases, predominantly those involving minors, have recently brought the issue back to the top of the news agenda, there is now more pressure than ever for all stakeholders to do their part to make sure these numbers do not increase.

The role of logistics

According to a 2020 report from the World Economic Forum, the number of delivery vehicles in the top 100 cities worldwide will increase by 36% by 2030. Subsequently, emissions from delivery traffic will increase by 32%, and congestion will rise by 21%.

New property developments will always come with an increase in deliveries, driving up the volume of traffic on the roads, traffic accidents and emissions in the air. The fragmentation of the logistics market in the UK – with an ever-growing number of delivery companies and couriers – means that each building can receive deliveries from multiple couriers every day. This affects the air quality of open spaces, creates traffic-related frustration for residents, reduces building safety, and in some cases, increases instances of parcel theft.

How logistics are managed can make a huge difference. For example, working with a service that collates parcels from all delivery companies and delivering them all in one go via electric vehicle can help to reduce both congestions and emissions. Taking this approach also means buildings only have one courier coming in and out each day rather than five or more, which increases building safety and resident convenience.

The wider impact of deliveries on living experience

Other elements of liveability can also be significantly improved by changing the logistics flow of a development. The growing number of parcel deliveries in the UK means that receptionists, concierge services and facilities managers in both commercial and residential developments spend time every day receiving parcels. Carelessness and a lack of accountability also results in building damage. Reducing the volume of deliveries each day can free up their time to focus on other elements of their job such as building maintenance and improvement, and reduce building damage, which can have a significant impact on resident satisfaction and be costly to fix.

Requesting that tenants use an external postal locker service is one way to reducing the volume of deliveries and drivers coming into the property, but there is also the option of installing smart lockers in the reception area. This would increase the convenience for tenants as they could collect the parcel from an on-site location at a time that suits them.

Attracting high quality tenants

In addition to the environmental benefits of changing a development’s logistics, providing a more convenient option like parcel lockers can have a big impact on quality of life and heighten the experience of living in the building.

Providing an extra high-tech service, like smart lockers, can improve the perception of the development. By elevating the resident experience – even when it comes to something small like deliveries – developers can attract high-quality tenants, and with the increased convenience and safety, they are more likely to stay.

So, reconsidering development logistics can have a huge impact on the local community, but, when done well, it can also improve the resident experience. Liveability can apply to a specific development as a wider geographic area, and it is important to consider all the options to make the quality of life within your properties the best it can be.


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