Smart growth is the way


We re­cently took a trip to Or­lando, Florida, to at­tend theNa­tion­alAs­so­ci­a­tion of Re­al­tors an­nual con­fer­ence. It’s a big deal with all the best and bright­est in the in­dus­try and key­note speak­ers like Colin Pow­ell and Lawrence Yun. We wanted to look at what global and na­tional eco­nomic is­sues are af­fect­ing real es­tate and howthey are rel­e­vant back home in Santa Fe. Af­ter at­tend­ing many lec­tures, work­shops, and round­table dis­cus­sions, we came up with three pre­vail­ing themes: den­si­fi­ca­tion, in­no­va­tion, and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ur­ban liv­ing is on the rise and cities are on the of­fen­sive to at­tract a new gen­er­a­tion of homeowners from ru­ral and sub­ur­ban ar­eas. From an eco­nomic point of view, it is more cost-ef­fi­cient to feed and ser­vice peo­ple in cities so high-qual­ity, high-den­sity liv­ing with walk­a­bil­ity is boom­ing. As a re­sult, busi­nesses are mov­ing back into cities, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are work­ing to im­prove schools in cities, and it is pro­jected that 85 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion will live in cities by 2050. Like­wise, Santa Fe, al­beit a small city, will be­come more crowded, too. Growth is not an op­tion; it will hap­pen. Choos­ing to grow smarter is the op­tion, so we all need to ask our­selves what that will look like and how we can be Den­sity Dif­fer­ent.

As a mar­ket town for over four hun­dred years, our econ­omy is de­pen­dent on peo­ple com­ing here for our goods and ser­vices. But tra­di­tional busi­nesses and ser­vice providers are los­ing ground daily to the emerg­ing vir­tual econ­omy of Ama­zon, Uber, Airbnb, andWeWork, to name but a few. Peo­ple are­mov­ing to­ward on­line, shared, and ex­pe­ri­en­tial com­merce. Tra­di­tional mom-and-pop stores and lo­cal com­merce will need to in­no­vate so out­side com­merce doesn’t dic­tate to us. In­stead, we will pro­vide to it. More in­vest­ment in a bet­ter broad­band in­fra­struc­ture will al­lowSanta Fe to cre­ate new­busi­ness mod­els for the dig­i­tal fu­ture.

In 1913, the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­al­tors adopted a Code of Ethics and the first words to the pre­am­ble be­gin, “Un­der all is the land.” With the grow­ing world pop­u­la­tion, there is pres­sure not only to fig­ure out how to best use the land, but how to best pro­tect the land. Busi­nesses and in­vestors are be­com­ing less in­ter­ested in cities that are fos­sil fuel-de­pen­dent and look­ing for cleaner, al­ter­na­tive-en­ergy-minded cities for long-term in­vest­ment. The eco­nomic pow­er­house of Germany is thriv­ing with in­vest­ment and in­dus­try and it is not only one of the largest economies in Europe but is one of the green­est. Germany will be off oil and nu­clear power this cen­tury. So­lar en­ergy is now 75 per­cent more ef­fi­cient and 75 per­cent less ex­pen­sive than it was a decade ago. Santa Fe can at­tract more busi­ness by mak­ing a stance with so­lar en­ergy. Com­mer­cial real-es­tate own­ers can at­tract new busi­ness ten­ants by in­vest­ing in so­lar en­ergy. It’s that sim­ple.

So, with all that in mind, we be­lieve our real es­tate here at home is in a pretty good place. We have for cen­turies been ad­dress­ing many of the is­sues that the rest of the coun­try is just nowwak­ing up to. By con­tin­u­ing to grow smarter and greener, we will pre­serve our his­tory and grow our econ­omy. Let’s con­tinue to make smart choices and keep Santa Fe one of the­most de­sir­able cities for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to live and visit.

Roger andMelissa are Re­al­tors at KW. Call them at 505-699-3112, email twicethe­selling­, or fol­low them on Twit­ter @Car­so­nandCar­son and at www.face­­so­nandcar­son. santafe­r­ealestate

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