Philippine economy

Clark Green City masterplan out by Q1 2013

The government says the development will be like South Korea's Songdo, which boasts of sustainable buildings and eco-friendly facilities

MANILA, Philippines – The Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) is scheduled to release the masterplan for its Green City in the Clark Economic Zone in the first quarter of 2013.

In a presentation to the inter-agency Infrastructure Committee (Infracom) on Wednesday, October 30, the BCDA unveiled its plans to build the Clark Green City in a 35,000-hectare location inside the economic zone.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Arsenio Balisacan, who chairs the Infracom, said the city will be developed over a 50-year period through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.

“It’s a very environment-friendly development. It has residential, business (and commercial establishments). It’s like developing a new Metro Manila or a new Quezon City but this time its going be a city that doesn’t have the problems of Metro Manila,” Balisacan told reporters after the Infracom meeting.

Balisacan added that the BCDA said an inter-agency coordinating body will be formed to complete the masterplan and develop the Green City. The body is expected to be composed of 10 agencies, which will include the NEDA.

Creating a new metropolis

The BCDA said the urbanization trend in the Philippines has been faster in the last 50 years. In 1960, only 8 million Filipinos lived in urban areas and the remaining 19 million lived in rural locations.

By 2000, the BCDA said the trend reversed with 39 million Filipinos living in cities and 37.5 million living in rural areas.

In 2010, the BCDA said 46% of Filipinos live in urban areas or some 46 million people. This means that roughly 1 out of 2 Fillipinos live in a city.

Urbanization in the Philippines is bound to continue. The BCDA said that by 2030, some 3 out of 4 Filipinos will be living in cities.

The BCDA said with this, there is a need to build another metropolis but not just another city but a sustainable one. The government has chosen to pattern the Clark Green City to South Korea’s Songdo.

“Urbanization in this part of the Philippines is concentrated in the NCR, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Bulacan,” the BCDA said in a presentation. “There is a need to create a new metropolitan area.”

GREEN CITY. Korea's Green City, Songdo, boasts of sustainable buildings and efficient power and energy use. Photo courtesy of Cai Ordinario.

Songdo is Korea’s green or smart city which is located in Incheon near the airport. The city is similar to Global City in Fort Bonifacio but with more high-technology features.

The city boasts of sustainable high-rise buildings, its own water recycling facility, and a water catchment facility, among others. It also has an efficient garbage collection system which does not use garbage trucks to collect and dispose waste.

Balisacan said these are just some of the features that the Clark Green City will have. He said the proposed city will also have underground pipes and wires, similar to Global City.

“Most likely (it will be done via) PPP because the government has no money to do it,” Balisacan said. “This will be a 50-year development, similar to Makati which was all grass in the 1960s. It will be developed gradually.” –

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