Estate Living Magazine Investment - Issue 34 October 2018 - Page 60

Smart cities Further impetus in store for the Mauritius property development landscape Introduced in 2015 by the Mauritius government under the so- called Smart City Scheme, a major development is under way that could profoundly change the property landscape on the island of Mauritius: smart cities. The scheme put in place to promote these smart cities follows an ambitious economic development agenda aiming to consolidate the country’s position as a fully fledged international business and financial hub. What is a smart city? Revolving around the ‘work, live and play’ concept, smart cities incorporate mixed-use developments in cosmopolitan conurbations with smart technology and pioneering innovation at their core. Created as an enhancement to an existing town or as an intelligently designed new town, these smart cities will 58 | be built using the latest advancements in urban planning and digitalised technologies to promote quality of life within an eco- friendly and sustainable environment. With the prerequisite that it should be built on an extent of land of at least 21 hectares, a smart city should develop a mix of compatible land use allowing the majority of its residents to live and work in the same place. Office, business, residential and leisure components of the smart city will all need to be integrated within a coherent master plan focusing on efficiency, sustainability and quality of life. The residential component of a smart city should not exceed 50% of the project’s total land area. Residential properties developed under a smart city scheme may comprise villas, houses, townhouses, apartments and duplexes.