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New Clark City, the Philippines’ First Smart, Disaster-Resilient City

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The New Clark City, also called Clark Green City, is one of the flagship projects of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, which aims to decongest Metro Manila, the nation’s largest urban center.

The 9,540-hectare development, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone in Capas and Bamban, Tarlac, is envisioned to be the country’s first smart, sustainable, and disaster-resilient metropolis—where nature, business, education, and technology coexist.

The first phase of the development, spearheaded by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA)—the same group behind the progressive development of the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig—is expected to be completed in 2022.

BCDA describes the ambitious project as “mixed-use real estate developments for housing, a business continuity center, which will house national government agencies, an agro-industrial park, and an international food market.

“The city [will] also have wide pedestrian lanes, exclusive bicycle lanes, and an integrated mass transit lane.”

Also positioned to be Asia’s next aerotropolis, where the Clark International Airport serves as its centerpiece, the New Clark City has been effortlessly attracting both international and local investors and industry partners.  Among these are Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation, which plans to connect Manila to New Clark City, Filinvest Development Corporation, Al Ahli Holding Group, which plans to set up various tourist attractions in the area, and top engineering firms AECOM, Nippon Koei, and Philkoei International Inc., among others.

Being in a special economic zone, the project offers tax benefits, as well as fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, to 100% foreign-owned businesses.

In a recent interview with Eco-Business, Thomas Tang, AECOM’s former sustainability director, said, “[People] should understand that having a smart city does not necessarily mean it’s so futuristic that it’s beyond the means or imagination…”

He added, “…[the] basic necessities like healthcare issues, reducing traffic congestion, improving housing, tackling public security, and energy reliability should be addressed before you start thinking about advanced technology.

“…Smart cities should also be resilient. So smart systems should also be mindful of environmental concerns like clean energy, better use of resources and capacity building of populations.”

The New Clark City is only 120 km away from Manila via the North Luzon Expressway and 90 km away from the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales, Bataan.

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