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‘Green, intelligent’ city to rise

Published on 09 July 2012 [ manilatimes.net ]
Written by LOVELYN QUINTOS REPORTER

ANEW ‘green and intelligent’ city half the size of Metro Manila will rise at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga by 2016, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said recently.
 
“We want to unlock the value of the vast land holdings that BCDA have there. The main zone is idle land so we need to protect it and also unlock the value to contribute to the regional development,” BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Arnel Casanova said in an interview.

He said that the new metropolis would be a mix of industrial, manufacturing, institutional, commercial and residential areas. Casanova added that the BCDA wants the application of green technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of city.

“Our development must be balanced with the environmental sustainability. We want more green spaces, open spaces,” he said.

BCDA earlier said that the master plan should adopt a Green Building System, use renewable energy in all buildings and facilities from sustainable sources, and clean and affordable public transportation system that promotes the use of cleaner burning fuels.

BCDA, Casanova said, is finalizing the contract with the highest rated bidder for the master development plan of the 36,000-hectare property. The agency opened the bidding last March and Casanova said that the BCDA targets to finish the master plan within the year so that the first phase of development can be implemented in 2013.

He said that developing the property will definitely be finished before the term of President Benigno Aquino 3rd ends in 2016.

The budget for developing the property will depend on the outcome of the masterplan but “will definitely be a big amount,” Casanova said.

He added that they are eyeing public-private partnerships to build the former military camp into a sustainable city.

Casanova noted that Metro Manila becomes “highly congested” as the Philippine population continues “urbanizing.” To ease the pressure of migration to the capital from the countryside, a new urban area must be created, he said.

He said that they are focusing on Central Luzon since all infrastructures—tollways, seaport and airport—are there, and because the population in the region is also increasing.

“Instead of making them migrate to Metro Manila, we might as well create an opportunity for them in Central Luzon itself and spur the infrastructure investment and the economic development in the region,” he said.

Casanova also said the BCDA plans to rehabilitate the tunnel buried 100 feet below Fort Bonifacio Global in Taguig City into a heritage site.

“We believe that it is important in city building [because] that there’s a sense of history and culture,” he added.
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