Paving the way for Azuri Smart City

In our quest to gain Smart City certification for Azuri Ocean & Golf Village, as outlined in the Value Proposition, we recently submitted an application for a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Mauritius’ Economic Development Board (EDB). The EDB confirmed last June 14th that the LOI is in the process of acceptance.

If we are to develop Azuri as a Smart City, we favour calling it a Smart Destination, for it is truly a place to which people are drawn, whether they come from abroad or are based in Mauritius. Azuri has shown that one can live well here, in safety and happily, while pursuing a healthy and comfortable lifestyle surrounded by other like-minded citizens. Beyond nutrition and sport, civic engagement, health-based activities, partnerships with research institutions, and proximity to the finest in education and medicine, our village provides the ideal background where that special feeling of well-being and belonging makes one’s heart beat passionately.

How to create such a place is our ultimate goal, which is why the commitment we make to our owners and residents is to cultivate compatible relationships amongst every inhabitant of the community.

The social bond as a key to well-being

If Aristotle was first to declare that “man is a social animal”; Jonathan Beecher, professor and historian, more recently added to this reflection in his assertion that “if passions are the basic elements of an individual personality, they can only develop fully in communion”. From this philosophical viewpoint, human beings are, therefore, naturally encouraged to live in community, to engage in dialogue, to share leisure activities, and more.

This is also the opinion of Azuri’s creators: “Not only are we real estate developers… we also have a responsibility towards fulfilling the lifestyle dreams of our residents. This dream does not stop outside the walls of their homes – it includes their needs for connection, and for belonging to a community,” explains Hugues Lagesse, CEO of BlueLife Limited, promoter of Azuri. It is this human dimension – this social bond – that is deemed essential to the happiness of our residents.

The role of the Smart City in linking our social bonds and well-being

According to Bimal Desai of JFA Architects, concept designers of Azuri, today’s urban development calls for a fusion of lifestyle and activities, whereby diversity serves to accentuate social bonds. He says that “to meet the intrinsic needs of human beings, an architect will integrate a system whereby common and private spaces are joined both conceptually and tangibly, to become a natural link with each individual’s personal notion of daily living.” Furthermore, he explains that the landscape design must reinforce the architectural elements and nature itself. “The secret is that in placing these components deliberately, dynamism is created.”

With this in mind, Azuri was designed so that the estate revolves around several neighborhoods, each having a unique identity, as well as a mélange of villas, apartments, and townhomes juxtaposed within a comfortable and natural setting. The vibrant village embraces a variety of eating establishments, shops and a central square; is aside a world class hotel with spa, kid’s club, and gym; and looks over sandy beaches and an endless turquoise sea. There is a nautical centre, a tennis academy, and a children’s playschool. All this guarantees an abundance of channels and assembly points for bringing inhabitants closer together, demonstrating that the design itself conveys a sense of belonging and community.

In addition to these core developments, several expansion projects are progressing, including the 9-hole par 3 golf course, the adjacent Rive Droite neighbourhood of exclusive villas and residences, and an accompanying infrastructure upgrade. Other initiatives proposed that can support this approach going forward are a community garden, a senior’s sector, primary and secondary schools, an eco-trail, a business centre… the possibilities are endless, and Azuri plans on staying at the forefront of their creation.

During 2019, forty-two events and activities were organised for Azuri’s residents, as well as for visitors and guests from around Mauritius: these included sports competitions, themed and holiday parties, performances and entertainment extravaganzas, Market Day exhibitions and fairs, environmental consciousness programs, charitable drives, and more.

In order to maintain this pace of activity, Azuri has created its very own Lifestyle Committee, which begins its mission of sustaining this dynamic vision by personally welcoming every new owner and tenant to the village.”

Residents and building a community

Smart City residents are somewhat like the cells in the human body… without them, life is impossible despite all the infrastructure and services available. “It is by participating in events, by giving time to assist others, by attending homeowner meetings, and by getting to know neighbours and staff within the village that residents contribute to weaving this social bond,” explains Guy-Régis Fanchette, Estate Manager at Azuri.

“We have met wonderful people since our arrival”; “It’s not just a collection of houses, it’s a village with a social life”; “There are a lot of kids my age with whom I can go fishing, cycling, and play soccer”… These are just a few comments from residents of Azuri which serve to confirm that the heart of our village is alive and well; and to endorse the assertion that real estate developers can and must fashion communities and neighbourhoods where true human contact can be created and sustained. Such is the challenge raised for the future of the industry.

Source: Fourier, the Visionary and His World, by Jonathan Beecher