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Placemakers have become more important especially where community engagement and creation of vibrancy are concerned.

Placemakers have become more important especially where community engagement and creation of vibrancy are concerned.

Placemaking ingenuity, creative digitisation and ESG initiatives are the final keys

THREE areas that saw a sharp increase in importance post-pandemic are placemaking ingenuity, creative digitisation and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. These attributes have become integral to the property sector and hence were incorporated as the qualitative aspects, serving as the criteria for participating developers.

As the inaugural start of the Malaysia Developer Awards (MDA), these attributes were broken into bite-size areas where developers have to show how they excel in each of the attributes. The qualitative component is worth 30%, with each attribute valued at 10%. Participating developers are required to provide additional information and documents for the qualitative component, detailing each attribute clearly and concisely.

Placemaking Ingenuity

Placemaking is a relatively new definition for the property industry. It refers to the creation of vibrant areas within a township or development that promotes the health, happiness or well-being of its residents, encouraging interaction among residents and visitors as well as the establishment of place identity.

Examples of placemakers include theme parks, pet-friendly parks, hangout food and beverage areas, and Instagramable venues. Points are allotted to:

  • Concept and objective of the placemaking, including the inception of the big idea behind the placemaking venue which is valued at 2%. Developers need to show the unique selling points (USPs) that are highly appreciated or valued by residents.
  • The realisation plan is worth 4%. This includes the design planning and architectural features, unique strategies adopted and an explanation of how the concept and design are realised via the strategies applied.
  • Branding and marketing strategies adopted to create awareness and their impact on the success of the project carry 4%.

Going digital means opening the doors to the world and this has become integral to conducting business today.

Going digital means opening the doors to the world and this has become integral to conducting business today.

Creative Digitalisation

This attribute takes into consideration the initiatives undertaken by developers to digitise their development processes, including automation of processes from pre-purchase right up to facility management, smart energy, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and more.

Worth 10% of the total score, the components that the judges look out for are as follows:

  • The innovation and digitalisation initiatives that were undertaken to improve the entire process of deliverables. It covers the design and planning process, project management and construction, the handling of vacant possession services, and leadership in adopting digital transformation. This can be related to online tools like Facebook, YouTube, social media apps and virtual showrooms. This component is valued at 2%.
  • 4% is allotted to how the developer overcomes challenges by adopting innovation and digitalisation initiatives. This includes the ingenuity in leveraging technology in reaching out to potential buyers and existing buyers.
  • The impact and benefits generated for various stakeholders like communities, residents and users, companies, employees, partners and industries through the innovation and digitalisation initiatives. This component is worth 4%.

ESG matters have become an essential component of today’s company practices.

ESG matters have become an essential component of today’s company practices.

ESG Initiatives

A developer’s social responsibility and corporate accountability, and its impact on its employees, customers and communities have become one of the hottest agendas in its daily practices.

The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic placed greater emphasis on ESG undertakings. Hence, it became the third attribute for the awards with a value of 10%. The components include:

  • The company’s sustainability plan and policy implemented as well as the initiatives demonstrated by the company in responding to ESG. This is worth 2%.
  • The ESG Initiatives and their contributions are valued at 4%. This comprises how these initiatives are incorporated into the company operations and projects undertaken by the developer. Project developments that embed sustainability feature three aspects. The first is the environment which covers green buildings, electrical vehicle (EV) friendly features, biodiversity (preservation of ecosystem) enhancements and smart water systems that channel recycled water from rainwater harvesting and treated water, among others. The social aspect gives priority to community programs, health and safety, good access to public transport networks with covered walkways, free shuttle bus services and other social implementation. Finally, governance pertains to the company’s high integrity and anti-corruption practices.
  • The impact and benefits generated for various stakeholders are worth 4%. This covers a wide scope as each company’s strategies have a different result toward the surrounding communities, residents and users, companies, employees, partners and industries.

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