MyTown, the largest co-living brand in the country, received the International Coliving Award for “Impact & Sustainability” in an award ceremony held on May 14th in Paris, France. The company was the only representative from the Philippines and also served as a finalist in the “Community & User Experience” category.
According to the Co-Living Awards Jury, the co-living sector’s viability as a long-term housing solution depends on whether they have impact and sustainability in the core of what they do. MyTown is leading the way for the country’s co-living sector in this respect, all while making a positive impact along the way.
Real estate resilience in the age of a climate emergency
In a report published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the Philippines is cited as the country most at risk by climate change. As an archipelago made up of 7,641 islands located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the country is incredibly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. These effects include rising sea levels and increased regularity of extreme weather events.
For this reason, the Philippine real estate industry has been making the jump towards sustainability as a way to both mitigate the effects of climate change and prepare for the worst. More buildings these days are demonstrating the ability to withstand the elements and the adherence to national environmental regulations and standards.
MyTown’s buildings are designed with climate resilience and eco-sustainability in mind. Each building is located in a relatively flood-free location and features recycled water systems, solar panels, and typhoon-proof building materials. These elements have a positive economic, social, and environmental impact not only on its residents but its surrounding community too.
Sustainability’s role during the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought the reality of climate change to light as Metro Manila’s air quality improved and nature thrived when the nation went into lockdown, according to a report by ABS-CBN. The pandemic not only strengthened the argument for sustainability, but also highlighted the role that sustainability plays in disease prevention and control.
Optimizing residential properties for sustainability promotes good health and hygiene amongst its residents. Excellent indoor air quality and enhanced indoor quality of life are among the criteria for green buildings. Both factors also happen to be cited by the World Health Organization as preventative measures against sickness. These efforts curb the spread of disease and lessen the likelihood of outbreaks in the future.
MyTown’s achievement in sustainability comes at a most opportune time when property seekers are demanding safe and dignified housing. MyTown’s structural design and stringent health protocols ensure the security and conservation of public health among its community. Based on research conducted by MyTown in collaboration with INSEAD, a leading graduate business school, co-living is an “essential, safe, and unique form of dignified affordable accommodation.”
The co-living arrangement provided by MyTown also allows students and professionals to live near their school or workplace, reducing both transportation-related carbon emissions and contact with people during their commute. Each building also adopted strict rules of conduct to hinder the spread of infection among residents, such as filling out health declaration forms, regular unit and building disinfection, temperature checking upon entry, and PPE wearing for staff and tenants.
Community in times of crisis
Environmental impact isn’t just the focus of sustainable building considerations. Promoting the quality of life and mental well-being of a building’s inhabitants through thoughtful design and mindful operations also makes up a large part of green architecture. Sustainable design should also enable adaptability to changing environments and situations.
As evidenced by MyTown’s ability to seamlessly adjust to the new normal, the co-living set-up already has these elements built into its model. Co-living was especially useful for staving off feelings of loneliness during the most difficult and isolating periods of the pandemic, and it revealed the significance of having a community in times of crisis.
MyTown engaged its community through virtual events, such as career talks, trivia nights, and holiday parties. Beyond providing emotional support amid the pandemic, the community also organized a donation drive for the victims of the volcanic eruption and the numerous super typhoons that afflicted the country in the previous year.
As the threat of climate change and rising sea levels loom, sustainable features will help developers adapt to the changing environment. Many cities already have green ordinances in place as a step forward towards climate action. These endeavors show a sign of positive change to come.