First smart, green, and resilient city in PH to rise in Tarlac by 2019

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Set to rise on a 9,450-hectare land in Capas, Tarlac will be the Philippines’ first smart, green, and resilient city built on cutting-edge technologies for greater efficiency and connectivity.

This first-of-its-kind development in the country is called the New Clark City, a priority project under President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s “Build Build Build” program and host to the swimming and track and field competitions of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in December.

To get the ball rolling for the project touted as the city of the future, the first pouring of concrete for Phase 1 was undertaken on April 25, 2018.

These were disclosed by DJ Bagatsing of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) during the Smart City Session of the Asia IoT Business Platform’s Manila leg on April 27 at the Manila Marriott Hotel. Bagatsing is a consultant and committee member for BCDA’s New Clark City Development Project.

All of 60 hectares, Phase 1 will comprise the National Government Administrative Center or NGAC. It will house government offices interconnected with one another via elevated and ground level pathways to promote better efficient flow of pedestrians.

It will also feature a state-of-the-art stadium and aquatic center to serve as venues for the SEA Games and athletes’ training even after the regional competition. There will be residential areas for government employees and athletes as well.

For the entire New Clark City, the latest innovations, including climate-friendly technologies, will be used for transportation, traffic, security, safety, and connectivity. Furthermore, these technologies will be harnessed in tandem with the environment, where lahar will be used as a building material for the government center, among others.

To enhance Internet connectivity, BCDA and the Department of Information and Communications Technology hope to start building the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure Grid by the end of 2018. The high-speed information highway will consist of underground fiber cables originating from the Pacific, bypassing Luzon, and exiting at the West Philippine Sea.

“That will be a huge factor in building a smart city because technology aids connectivity,” said Bagatsing.

On the other hand, the transport infrastructure will not only be for the benefit of those living and working within the property. Instead, it will also be developed in ways that will make it accessible to locations outside the New Clark City so that people can enter and exit the city efficiently and comfortably.

Bagatsing added that in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, smart bikes will be deployed and a Bus Rapid Transit facility will be built where only the center lane will be devoted to buses and commuters will swipe cards to ride these buses. If these technologies will prove successful in Pampanga, they will be utilized in the New Clark City as well.

An integrated command center will run all these technologies smoothly and in coordinated fashion, including those for the operational efficiencies of lamp posts, stoplights, and others.

Said Bagatsing, “The Philippines should look out for New Clark City because it’s a blank canvas where we can start urban or city development in the right step, unlike with the cities before.”

He added that BCDA has international consultants monitoring and guiding them for the New Clark City Development Project.
The Smart City discussion was one of several sessions held during the Asia IoT Business Platform Manila leg from April 26-27, 2018.

The event focused on IoT communications, applications, and solutions for key verticals in Malaysia, Mainland China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

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