From a real estate perspective, creating a community begins with the incipient phase of the project, namely with the concept itself of the new buildings to be erected and – prior to that – with the urban planning for that project, especially if it is a mixed use one, said Roxana Dudau, Head of Real Estate & Construction and Associated Partner at Noerr, at BR’s Rising Cities. Smart Future conference.
“Mixed use projects are the most suitable type of projects for creating communities, if not indispensable altogether for creating such a community (unless a single purpose building is inserted into an already existing and functional community context).”
Therefore, Dudau argued, the town planning documentation (usually an urban zoning plan – PUZ) needs to be thoroughly thought through and elaborated with the community purpose in mind.
“Ideally, such large projects should be thought up in direct cooperation with local authorities, especially in order for the infrastructure to be tailored to the future needs triggered by the new community and its relations with the immediate vicinity of the project and the other parts of the city.
The rules to be observed in such an endeavour would be related to the following aspects, to name only a few: streets and utilities infrastructure and their future development/extension/
modernization, functional zoning of the land, environment protection measures, green & leisure areas, urban revitalization and complex reconstruction of the area, creation of pedestrian areas and urban landscape, street furniture. In other words: meeting as many needs of the populace as possible.”
She also addressed the legislative aspect of real estate planning, noting that it should be a priority for authorities to bring urban legislation in line with requirements for construction permits and quality standards.
“What is needed in Romania is a strong and clear urban legislation which, doubled by undisputed general town planning documentations of cities (with clearly set urban principles and pillars for the development thereof), would bring clarity and sustainability to the city and local community development. Ideally, direct permitting for new projects should be targeted, so that no derogatory documentations are needed, as a rule, but merely as an exception, on case by case basis.
A good legal framework in this field would have to balance out the interests of the existing real estate owners in the area with those of the new investors ‘on the block’, so as to ensure both a flexible and swift authorization process, on the one hand, and prevent out-of-context buildings, on the other hand.”