Clark Green City’s banking on smart urban planning

By on May 9, 2015


Clark Green City plans (clarkgreencityphils.com)
Clark Green City plans (clarkgreencityphils.com)

MANILA — Clark Green City, the largest development of the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), is seen banking on its smart urban planning to attract investors to locate in the rising central business district (CBD) in Central Luzon.

Oxford Business Group’s (OBG) newly launched The Report: The Philippines 2015 has highlighted the Clark Green City, hoping that the ambitious new planned city will thrive through the facilitation of BCDA which has been successful in developing the former military base camp Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

The Clark Green City has a vast land area of 9,450 hectares which is envisioned to be the country’s first smart, green, and disaster-resilient metropolis.

“Similar big ideas have gone nowhere, as investors are typically reluctant to be the first to move to an empty locale and public backers typically lack the resources to fund up front the large investments in infrastructure needed to encourage private investments,” OBG’s report said.

“But this [Clark Green City] is a project backed by the BCDA, the same body behind BGC, where a new second CBD of Metro Manila has sprouted up where 10 years ago there were mostly fields,” it added noting that BGC, despite being half-built, is already competing with Makati CBD as most desirable address for businesses in Metro Manila.

“The simple formula to BGC’s success, all too rare in Asian cities, is smart urban planning,” it stressed.

Like the BGC, BCDA wants the same smart urban planning for the Clark Green City.

“We want to incorporate the best practices that we developed in Fort Bonifacio [BGC] and duplicate what we have done, only bigger and better,” BCDA Business Development Manager Arrey Perez was quoted in OBG’s The Report.

“We want to promote a better quality of life and address climate change with a showcase development. The design is compact for a low-carbon footprint and promotes walking and mass transit,” added Perez.

On the other hand, the OBG’s report mentioned that the big test for the Clark Green City project is the high up-front infrastructure costs due to its higher environmental standards.

With the forward-looking Clark Green City project, the BCDA — as granted by law — can offer powerful tax and other incentives through the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Board of Investments (BOI) in order to attract more locators in the rising CBD in Central Luzon.

The Clark Green City has no restrictions for foreign-owned companies interested in bidding.

In BCDA’s previous release, projects in the Clark Green City will be in the form of joint venture with the BCDA, with 55-45 percent sharing in favor of the government body.