The SMC Aerocity in Bulacan wants to avoid the same transport traps Metro Manila fell into

Let’s hope these images aren’t too good to be true
by Drei Laurel | May 18, 2022
PHOTO: San Miguel Corporation

Look, we love Metro Manila, but it isn’t exactly a stinging beacon of what a modern city is supposed to be. It’s congested, polluted, and a major pain in the ass to navigate—all qualities the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is trying to avoid in the development of its new aerocity in Bulacan.

The company has released new renders of its future-ready development in Bulacan—which will complement the upcoming P740-billion New Manila International Airport (NMIA)—showing off an urban center that, to be honest, looks like the complete opposite of most of Metro Manila.

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For starters, public and alternative modes of transportation appear to take center stage in SMC Aerocity’s mobility landscape. Dedicated bike lanes are found all over the development, and are protected from cars by landscape barriers. Provisions for mass transportation, including dedicated bus lanes, are shown, too.

Major roads are to be constructed with pedestrians in mind, with wide sidewalks and even a promising ‘skywalk’ elevated walkway initiative that will interconnect buildings and provide a safer means of getting around on foot. These skywalks, hopefully, will also feature provisions for solar panels that will power street lights and other urban fixtures.

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SMC is also aiming to make this place a breathable one, with no point of the city more than 15 minutes away from an open green space. Wide boulevards are pegged to feature landscaping and greenery, and waterfront developments are shown in the renders as well.

SMC is tapping Palafox Associates for this project, with company head Ramon S. Ang saying the vision shown by the architectural firm shouldn’t be too far off from the real thing.

“These designs presented to us by Architect Palafox and his team will be close to actual. There will probably be some adjustments by the time we implement, and we will still continue to improve as needed, but in terms of the overall concept, design, and the features, this is it,” Ang said.

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“While we need to fast-track the completion of this airport and aerocity to help ease travel congestion and aid in the country’s recovery with more jobs and opportunities for more Filipinos, we are mindful that we need to do this the right way and with a vision for a sustainable future. That is why we tapped Architect Palafox for this project,” he added.

Promising stuff. How close to these renders do you think the finished product will end up being?

More photos of the SMC Aerocity in Bulacan:

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PHOTO: San Miguel Corporation
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