SMC enlists help of urban planner Jun Palafox to ensure PAREX’s sustainability

‘He is a visionary with a lot of great ideas’
May 11, 2021
PHOTO: Palafox Associates, Shutterstock

Is the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) an exciting proposition? Yes, of course—for those of us who use cars and plan to utilize the San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) planned bus rapid transit system (BRT). For everyone else? Not as much.

The concerns being raised by those skeptical of PAREX’s construction are very valid ones. “Will it kill the Pasig River?” and “Is is this just another band-aid solution to our traffic problem” may be premature anxieties, considering we’ve yet to see a design or actual plan on paper, but they’re valid apprehensions nonetheless. This is why we’re glad to see SMC is enlisting the help of one of the country’s top urban planners, Jun Palafox, to integrate sustainability features into the project.

In a statement, SMC said that it has tapped Palafox to make sure that PAREX and future infrastructure projects and existing road networks will “further meet social, economic and environmental needs.”

Continue reading below ↓

“For our next-generation developments, like the airport, airport city, PAREX, and expressway and mass rail projects benefitting our provinces, we can be more deliberate and purposive in terms of urban planning and design. We can incorporate learnings from previous developments in the country and around the world,” SMC president Ramon Ang explained, also saying that the country is now playing catch up after neglecting urban planning over the past 30 years.

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

“This is where Palafox can help us greatly, because he is a visionary with a lot of great ideas and solutions to start solving problems we encounter living in our cities today. It will be a process and it will take time, but I believe we will have better, more efficient, more comfortable and pleasant cities interconnected by sustainable infrastructure in the future,” he added.

Details as to how Palafox’s input will improve plans to develop PAREX are still scarce at the moment, but Ang did share some information regarding SMC’s Airport City development in Bulacan, saying “parks, wider pedestrian areas, and dedicated bicycle paths” are just some of the things SMC plans to include in the project’s masterplan.

Continue reading below ↓

Palafox’s architectural firm, Palafox Associates, operates by the principle of “integral ecology” and aims to balance “social equity with protecting and conserving natural environments, inclusive economic growth, culture, history, and interfaith spirituality.” “We have a strong commitment to preventing negative development impacts on people and the environment,” the company’s website reads.

Does this mean that PAREX is going to be a shining beacon of socially- and environmentally-conscious infrastructure? Not necessarily—we’ll wait to see an actual plan before we come to any conclusions. It’s a step in the right direction, though, at the very least.

Top Gear Philippines is now on Quento! Click here to download the app and enjoy more articles and videos from Top Gear Philippines and your favorite websites.

See Also

Top Gear Philippines is now on Quento! Click here to download the app and enjoy more articles and videos from Top Gear Philippines and your favorite websites.

PHOTO: Palafox Associates, Shutterstock
  • Quiz Results

  • TGP Rating:
    /20

    Starts at ₱

    TGP Rating:
    /20
    Starts at ₱