- March 1, 2014: Vol. 6, Number 3

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Sustain me: Asian institutional investors eye sustainability

by Benjamin Cole

One might think that indecipherable blueprints, evolving spreadsheets and government wrangles would fill anyone’s plate in the institutional real estate game. But in the past 10 years, urban planners, architects, developers and institutional property investors in Asia have added another dish to the menu: sustainability, as in green building and design, and perhaps a side order of “New Urbanism”.

Today, even gimlet-eyed real estate investors want structures that use less energy and water, and are clear of contaminants. Meanwhile, profit-seeking urban developers recognise that higher property values are attached to transit-accessible, mixed-use, lively and pedestrian-friendly urban cores, the kind touted by new urbanists.

As a result, the energy-eating glass tower in a zoned, single-use office district — the trophy property archetype of urban development a generation ago — has nearly become a dinosaur.

Asia, at least at the level of institutional propert

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