BCDA seeks PNoy OK for 'Clark Green City' master plan

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 11 2014 03:48 PM | Updated as of Feb 11 2014 11:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The master plan for the Philippines' first "smart" and "green" city in Clark, Pampanga will be submitted to President Benigno Aquino for approval this week.

Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and CEO Arnel Casanova said the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) infrastructure committee has already recommended the approval of the master plan for Clark Green City to the President.

"We presented it to the President last November and he made some comments. We will present again this week, February 14," he told ABS-CBNnews.com, at the sidelines of a forum in Makati City.

Clark Green City, located inside the Clark Special Economic Zone, is expected to integrate the best practices of urban planning and sustainable design principles.

"This is a rare opportunity for BCDA to be able to dictate what kind of development we're going to have for the future. So we're going to do it now and implement the parameters of sustainability (for the city)... Basically, we want to have a city that would be inclusive and improve the life of people living there," Casanova said.

Casanova said the BCDA is already preparing for the implementation of Clark Green City's Phase 1, which will cover 1,300 hectares.

"Once we get the President's approval, we can immediately bid out the first phase of the project... The first phase will be 1,300 hectares. It's a mix of government centers, central business districts, industrial areas and institutional areas," he said.

Centios, a joint venture of Cisco and KT, is currently doing a study on the ICT component of Clark Green City based on the Smart+Connected Community concept. The South Korea-based Centios offers services and solutions for "smart" cities and buildings.

Clark Green City may be patterned after the "smart city" concept used in building Songdo international business district in Incheon, South Korea.

"It could be similar but it should also be suited for Philippines... But when it comes to ICT efficiency, we will adopt it the same way they did in Songdo. We don't need to re-invent the wheel. We are just going to replicate or make it better," Casanova said.

Last year, the BCDA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZA), hoping to learn from the experience of Incheon in developing Songdo.