HONG KONG-based architectural firm hpa unveiled a major reclamation and development project for Manila, promising “a self-sustainable, revolutionary and eco-nouveau city in the capital of the Philippines.”
Presenting the project to President Rodrigo Duterte and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on May 23, hpa said the
“New Manila Bay-City of Pearl” is the architectural firm’s largest and most innovative project to date, and would be the biggest “Belt and Road” project between the Philippines and China.
“New Manila Bay–City of Pearl, as the first Asian smart city to be in development stages, will capture the essence of the Belt and Road initiative by further advancing business and economic development between China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia,” said Nicholas Ho, Deputy Managing Director of hpa. “We believe in the ability to enhance our future in accordance with cutting edge technology, and with our team of talented architects and designers, we are able to create, from ground zero to completion, a city that will, in essence, run itself.”
The New Manila Bay-City of Pearl will be a 407-hectare city and new integrated central business district, connected by a loop road network, with an advanced driverless railway system running throughout. The inner ring would feature an extensive central park and golf course, while the outer ring will provide views of Manila Bay.
The proposed new city would be built where the present-day Baseco Compound is between Manila South Port and the mouth of the Pasig River, with an additional island of reclaimed land built to extend the development farther out into Manila Bay.
Water taxis would connect the two islands to other districts in the capital, “guaranteeing a walkable city with travel time no longer than 20 minutes,” hpa said. Renewable energy (solar and tidal power) will also be utilized to ensure renewable energy production and consumption. A state-of-the-art sports stadium, a waterfront promenade, as well as residential and commercial areas will present over 50,000 job opportunities for the community, it added.
“The company’s Research and Development team is dedicated to exploring the latest global trends in architectural design, sustainability, computer technology, and construction materials, in addition to property developments and economic and social matters related to building design. Falling under the company philosophy: ‘Design for People’, hpa projects are not limited to corporates or government institutions, but specifically and more importantly for the community,” the company said in a statement.
“It is this ‘human’ approach that underscores ‘who we design for’, based on the belief that what we create through original and revolutionary designs will ultimately set the foundation for a better future; designs that will meet the needs of future markets which represent the world we live in, our culture and lives,” added Ho.
The architectural firm, which has been providing planning and design services in Asia and the Middle East since 1980, said that both President Duterte and Manila Mayor Estrada supported the New Manila Bay-City of Pearl concept.