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Clark Green City: PH’s next frontier

The country’s big cities, the largest being Metro Manila, are already grossly congested. In fact it is predicted that by 2030 the population will reach a high of 130 million and about 100 million of these are the expected city dwellers.

CASANOVA

CASANOVA

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) estimates that Metro Manila’s traffic jams alone are costing the economy P2.4 billion a day in potential income, a figure that JICA warns could balloon to P6 billion a day by 2030. Given this scenario, JICA recommends spreading economic activities to other potential growth areas in the country and for the government to be more mindful of environmental impact and disaster management in big cities as population increase.

It’s not the only solution, as far as state-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is concerned. To mitigate further migration into Metro Manila, BCDA came up with a brilliant plan to build a new city in central Luzon, right in Clarkfield area, under its subsidiary Clark Development Corp.

From the very start, BCDA President and chief executive officer (CEO) Arnel Paciano D. Casanova has emphasized that this new development should be well-planned to make it sustainable, disaster resilient, environment-friendly, and to answer for the need of a modern metropolis. Thus, the country’s first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis was born called Clark Green City, to be launched this month.

Clark Green City sits on a 9,450-hectare area located inside the Clark Special Economic Zone in Tarlac. Development will be done in phases with the first phase, comprising of 288 hectares, by BCDA and its joint-venture partner, Filinvest Land, Inc. which will construct an industrial zone and a mixed-used development.6

Economic booster

The strategic location and its connectivity to major cities in Central Luzon through the country’s expressways that include the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) and soon the Central Luzon Expressway (CLEX) will allow the convergence from north, east, south, and west, and serve a catchment population of some 12 million people. It will have a direct link to the Clark International Airport and is just a breeze away from the Subic Freeport Zone via the SCTEX.

At full development, Clark Green City will have some 1.12 million residents, 800,000 workers and contribute a gross output of approximately P1.57 trillion per year to the national economy or roughly four percent share in the county’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Disaster-resilient

Casanova points out that Clark Green City’s favorable geological conditions make it less vulnerable to the so called “Big One” should the West Valley Fault Line give way. Its location is in fact 75 kilometers from the West Valley Fault Line and as such ideal for long-term development.

Clark Green City will also be spared from the damaging effects of super typhoons since its neighboring mountain ranges the Zambales Mountain Range and the Sierra Madre Mountain Range will serve as natural barriers. Flooding will be remote due to its high elevation.

Sustainable

Clark Green City follows green standards such as green building codes, low carbon footprint and build in harmony with the natural environment —  respecting the ecosystem.

Casanova cited the success of property development projects such as the Bonifacio Global City but its residential units are not affordable to the common wage earner. “That is why in Green City, we envision an inclusive and sustainable metropolis where there is affordable and beautiful housing even for minimum wage earners,” he added.

BCDA has chosen 1/0 Design Collective, winner of Clark Green City’s BALE (Building Accessible and Liveable Ecologies) international housing design competition for the new city. Its model design will be considered in BCDA’s joint housing project with Pag-IBIG (Home Mortgage and Development Fund) for the construction of an initial 2,000 low cost housing units intended as residences for some 85,000 workers inside Clark ecozone.

Modern ICT infrastructure

Clark Green City will be characterized by a cutting-edge ICT infrastructure that will integrate city-wide services for infrastructure, transport, utilities, security and public safety. An advanced communications and digital infrastructure will serve as the backbone of the entire metropolis to facilitate data processing and transfer through high-speed Internet connectivity.

Renewable energy will also take center stage in powering Clark Green City. Last December, BCDA forged a lease agreement with Sunray Power, Inc. (SPI) for the lease of a 260-hectare area in Clark Green City to build a 100-megawatt solar power facility worth P11.75 billion. SPI also has committed to employ 1,000 workers during the construction period and at least 250 workers during operations.

Another lease agreement, this time with SSR C-Solar Power, Inc., will establish a solar energy farm in Clark Green City capable of generating some 20 megawatts of electricity. SSR C-Solar Power, Inc. committed to invest some R1 billion for the solar energy project within the next two years.

Investors

Clark Green City has attracted foreign investors. BCDA forged a cooperation agreement with the government of Japan through the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN). This is expected to lead to multiple joint venture partnerships that will serve as a vehicle for the formation of Japanese consortium and investments in the field of power, transportation, tollways, industrial zones and economic centers.

The European community has also expressed keen interest in Clark Green City. BCDA signed separate Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with France and Sweden to foster technical cooperation and identify future collaborative opportunities in the development of Clark Green City.

France-based Vivapolis represents French stakeholders–both public and private entities–seeking to promote a shared vision for sustainable urban development at an international level and to promote the French know-how in the field of sustainable cities.

The Swedish entities on the other hand are IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), a foundation jointly owned by the Government of Sweden and Swedish industry; ElectriCITY, a non-profit organization composed of major companies operating in Sweden; and Xeric AB (Xeric), a company that specializes in providing business consultancy services for small and medium enterprises.

The local government, including farmers, and residents have thrown their full support to the development of the country’s most modern city to date.

“BCDA has been consulting with the farmers and residents since project inception in 2012 to ensure that they are involved in the development process. Transparency and cooperation are key factors to the success of this project. The development of Clark Green City will only happen if we work closely together,” said Casanova.

  • dee

    Is the residential section already open for reservation?