Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. The United Nations forecasts that by 2050, an additional 2.6 billion people will be living in cities, most of them located in developing countries.
Rapid urbanization has created booming demand for housing and commercial property. Through investments in property, IFC aims to promote development of affordable housing and essential urban infrastructure, incorporating the latest green building standards and technology.
Home ownership provides security and an important way for families to build wealth. But in most emerging markets, there is a shortage of housing. IFC’s $260 million portfolio of affordable housing projects is helping more low-and middle-income people become homeowners for the first time.
The construction sector is a driver of economic activity and job creation around the world. The property sector also supports employment in related industries like financial services, consumer product manufacturing, and retail. In addition to housing, IFC invests in commercial property to create the infrastructure businesses need to grow.
Given that buildings account for over a quarter of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions, investments in green buildings are one of the most important ways to fight climate change. IFC works with clients to adopt the latest technologies and standards to reduce water and energy use, and minimize solid waste.
IFC’s Edge tool is a green building classification system designed specifically for emerging markets. It provides clients with technical solutions for going green and captures capital costs and projected operational savings. EDGE can be used by building professionals without the need for expensive green building specialists.
IFC’s portfolio of commercial property investments comprises over $470 million of investments in over 30 projects.