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China to Build Southeast Asia’s First Smart City in the Philippines

Called the New Manila Bay – City of Pearl, the smart city is ‘beyond any international standards today.’

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The Manila Bay will never be the same again as a consortium of Filipino-Chinese developers, UAA Kinming, will start a 407-hectare reclamation project in the area starting this August until the next four years. An extraordinary project will be built there – its designers call it as the first smart city in Southeast Asia.

The New Manila Bay – City of Pearl has a league of its own in the region. It was designed to be Manila’s most progressive integrated central business district, which is connected directly to the Roxas Boulevard and situated only 20 minutes from the airport.

Source: Ho & Partners Architects

“None in Asia has this scale of development in such a prime location with such a visionary approach,” said Nicholas Ho, deputy managing director of Ho & Partners Architects, the Hong Kong-based lead designer of the project.

“There are many townships in Asia but those townships are in the middle of nowhere. This township is extremely prime in terms of its location. This one is right smack in the middle of town, with 360-degree ocean views.”
Source: Ho & Partners Architects

Envisioned to be a city within a city, the New Manila Bay – City of Pearl is complete with commercial, residential, convention, healthcare, education, tourism, and sports hubs. Its inner ring features the central park and golf course, with its outer ring lined with a 10-kilometer promenade which looks out into a breathtaking panoramic ocean view.

It has a well-planned transportation system that promotes walkability. But the people could use the loop road network and an advanced driverless railway system which can be accessed in key points in the entire district. There are water taxis too which connect the north and south island to other areas in the Philippine capital.

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Source: Ho & Partners Architects

But what makes this city extraordinary is that it is a self-sustaining smart city ‘beyond any international standards today,’ as its designers would say.

“The most inspiring fact for me as a masterplan designer is that the client wanted to create something that no one has done before,” Ho said.

“The city is designed to become a self-sustaining smart community where the city itself is run by artificial intelligence. Everything we’ve done on this city is based on one central theme: the smart city concept.

“We want it to be green, we want it to be self-sustaining, not dependent on anything or anyone else. We want the city itself to have hardware and software so integrated in a way that it can feed back to artificial intelligence to ensure that city operation is always at its optimal level.”

When it comes to electricity, the city will generate power from renewable energy like solar and tidal waves.

Source: Ho & Partners Architects

Ho revealed that this project is the result of several years of negotiation between Beijing and Manila, with UAA Kinming and Estrada leading the talks.

“This was orchestrated by UAA Kinming about a few years ago,” Ho said. “This project got the blessing from President Xi Jinping and President Duterte last year in Beijing, and we got the go-ahead to proceed to planning.”

While some fear that this project might be controlled by China, Ho assured that that will not be the case, and that the Philippines will exercise full autonomy over the city.

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“There’s no military application for this project. No one’s going to use it as a military port or airstrip or anything like that. This is purely a mixed-use, public–private-partnership development.”

Over the course of completing the New Manila Bay – City of Pearl, about 50,000 jobs will be generated ranging from construction to development. It will take about 20 years to finish the entire city done phase by phase.

Sources: Property-Report | Ho & Partners Architects’ YouTube

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