The ‘Live Work Play’ guide to urban survival: Filinvest City edition

Philip Cu Unjieng

Posted at Oct 05 2018 08:04 PM | Updated as of Oct 08 2018 04:55 PM

If the mantra of "Eat Pray Love" was a guide to inner peace and personal fulfilment, then "Live Work Play" would be the chant here in Metro Manila for making one's urban life both rational and sensible. 

In the foreseeable future (if not already today), it may be the last chance we have for keeping our sanity, and maintaining an ideal life-work balance.

Given the daily traffic congestion and the now regular occurrences of 'Carmaggedons,' the daily commute has become the stuff of nightmares. 

Imagine how many productive work minutes, precious family quality-time, even moments for recreation, are wasted and gone forever when we're stuck in traffic. It was with this worsening situation in mind that responsible urban developers began their mantra of "Live Work Play."

In simplest of terms, it translates to creating an urban master plan where the elements of Live - my living accommodations, my house or condominium; of Work - where I hold my job or set up my business; and that of Play - where I can spend my hours of recreation and unwinding, are all circumscribed within a limited area. 

Filinvest City in Alabang has an enhanced master plan that is the most farsighted, visionary example of making this Live Work Play concept a reality over several districts of Filinvest City (and when Filinvest refers to districts, these are roughly 3 kilometers in radius). 

Coupled with their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-submitted Neighborhood Development Plan green systems, this master plan guarantees that Filinvest City is the premier Garden central business district of the southern metro, providing convenience, security, and opportunities for company and career growth, thereby making it an excellent location for business.

While I will discuss in more detail the Filinvest 'districts' below, it's very worth making some mention of how their green systems and Mega-Blocks truly enhance the Masterplan to something unique in terms of Neighborhood development. And dare I say it, something that’s never been done before with this kind of detail and scope by other major developers. 

The Green system mandates that open spaces will exist in the districts and that they will be enhanced for practical use. On top of the substantial completion of streetscapes such as pedestrian network and jogging and bike lane systems, extensive landscape parks are being developed as well to further link various districts. 

The Spectrum Linear Park, The Creekside Park, and the Central Park are examples of these open spaces. 

As for the Mega-Blocks, it translates to the fact that parcels of land will stay owned by Filinvest, to be used for key landmarks and value enhancers – Festival Alabang, the Filinvest Axis Towers, and the Convention Centre, being examples of these Mega-Blocks, and how they exist in the different districts.

So how does Filinvest City define their market demographic?

In terms of Live (Residential):

  • Affordable to ultra high-end market;
  • There are various living options in a Filinvest City; and for the high-end market, this includes Filigree projects such as Botanika Nature Residences and Bristol at Parkway Place, and The Levels and Studio City for yuppies who are always on the go.

In terms of Work (Office):

  • Companies expanding their businesses in the south,
  • Companies seeking to move out of existing, but congested CBDs,
  • Other developers looking for areas where they can expand and grow,
  • Investors/Land Banking, and
  • People who want to work in Filinvest City, as they appreciate the Live Work Play lifestyle or the laid back, yet competitive atmosphere.

In terms of Play (Retail):

  • Hotels led by Crimson Alabang,
  • The Palms Country Club,
  • Big Foreign Brands locating flagship stores in Filinvest City, and
  • Retail Expansion.

There are 9 defined districts in Filinvest City. If we pick out one district, let's examine how the Live Work Play concept works in that district. The Northgate district houses Northgate Cyberzone, the Information Technology Park within Filinvest City, and this IT Park aspect readily provides the Work component of Live Work Play. 

The Live component is present via residential developments such as Studio 1 and 2, Southkey Place, as well as the Bellevue Hotel. And the Play element is F@stbytes, where the employees can dine 24/7. 

As it is, Filinvest City's population grows exponentially in the course of each working day, welcoming the thousands who gravitate to the City to Work, Play or Live. 

Professionals, residents, and stakeholders all appreciate the smart urban design and abundant green spaces. There's a relaxed, open vibe thanks to the pocket gardens, bike lanes, natural bird habitats, and sprawling events grounds. Steadily, more and more multinationals and local enterprises are planting roots in the Metro South, and finding Filinvest City is in possession of the most effective 'formula' for making the Live Work Play lifestyle a potent reality.

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