posted April 10, 2016 at 11:30 pm by [thestandard.com.ph]
Othel V. Campos
President Benigno Aquino III is leading the groundbreaking rites for Clark Green City today, heralding the start of the development of the country’s first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis in Tarlac province.
The president will lay the time capsule of what will become the country’s most modern and global metropolis.
He will be accompanied by Cabinet members including Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Economic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra.
“It’s all system go for the Clark Green City,” Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and chief executive Arnel Paciano Casanova said.
The development of the 9,450-hectare Clark Green City will be in several phases. The first phase covering 288 hectares will be developed by BCDA and joint-venture partner Filinvest Land Inc.
The Filinvest parcel will have two distinct components—an industrial zone and a mixed-used development with residential, office, commercial and institutional elements.
Casanova said Clark Green City was perfectly suited to become a back-up government center, as it was designed to have a disaster-resilient facility, with measures to combat the ill effects of climate change and other natural disasters.
Clark Green City’s favorable geological conditions also make it less vulnerable to earthquakes. The absence of a fault line in the vicinity makes the site ideal for long-term development.
The city will also be spared from the damaging effects of super typhoons, with the Zambales Mountain Range and the Sierra Madre Mountain Range serving as natural barriers. Flooding will also be remote due to its high elevation.
Casanova said Clark Green City would showcase the country’s capability to build a sustainable and modern city.
“The city will adopt smart and green features like compact walkable communities with generous open spaces, bike lanes, mass transportation, smart utilities, high-bandwidth connectivity, protected biodiversity, energy efficiency and urban farming, among others, making it one of the country’s most livable cities of the future,” he said.
He said Clark Green City would be a community that allows people from all walks of life to realize their aspirations in the cusp of an inclusive community.
“This is not merely a city for the rich. This is a city for the poor to be rich. Rich in knowledge as well as in wealth. Abundant in compassion, devoid of bigotry and inequality,” said Casanova.
BCDA chairperson Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia said Clark Green City would be a master-planned metropolis, to be built from ground up, incorporating the best practices in urban planning and development.
“The soul of every city is its people. We must enable every individual to reach their full potential by honing their talents and giving them more opportunities for growth,” said Garcia.
At full development, Clark Green City will have some 1.12 million residents, 800,000 workers and contribute a gross output of P1.57 trillion per year to the national economy or roughly four percent of the gross domestic product.