A Resilient and Healthy Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Part 1 of 3 – Healthy Buildings and Places

BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY, Metro Manila – How do you plan for the future of a city like the masterplanned community of Bonifacio Global City? Unlike other urban areas in metro manila, Bonifacio Global City or BGC or the Fort as it is more fondly called is “like an oasis” in an endless dessert of urban sprawl, quipped by Mr. Carlos Villaraza, President of GEOSEED (Geohazards Engineers) and Seismic Engineers. Fortunately, there are concerned citizens both local and foreign who care for the sustainable development of not only BGC but also other urban enclaves. Gathered together by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philippines; recently concluded the “Resilient and Healthy BGC” Community Workshop at Net One Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City last July 31, 2015.  The purpose of the workshop was to involve BGC stakeholders from the business, admin, and residential community on matters regarding the health and resilience of the city. Presentations from key experts in the fields of architecture, engineering, urban planning, environmental sciences, transportation, real estate, civil society, arts, academia, and disaster preparedness were shown to at least 70 individuals present during the workshop. The workshop was split into three segments throughout the day, starting with Part 1 Healthy Buildings and Places, followed by Part 2 presentations for Resiliency and the Earthquake Emergecny Fund, and last with Part 3 Communications During Disasters and Mapping for Emergencies. Mr. Raymond Rufino, Net Group President and Chairman of the Philippine Green Building Council & ULI Philippines, enthusiastically opened the program by giving a brief background on ULI and the 20,000 USD grant awarded to ULI Philippines for an Urban Innovation Grant for its project A Resilient and Healthy BGC Initiative.

The Urban Land Institute is a global non-profit education and research institute supported by its members. Founded in 1936, the institute now have more than 32,000 members worldwide, representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service. As a multidisciplinary real estate forum, ULI facilitates an open exchange of ideas, information, and experience among industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better places….

The Urban Innovation Grant is given to projects that recognize innovative public-private partnerships and promote the responsible use of land in building healthy, resilient, and thriving communities worldwide.

(source: ULI PH briefing document)


ULI as summed up in a short video showcasing its work, vision, and mission is “developing for humanity”. Promoting health is a vital component of sustainable city development as captured by promoting active mobility and world green building standards. Mr. Rufino added, that for mega cities like Metro Manila and new central business districts like BGC to sustain its growth and development, it should follow the recommendations outlined from ULI Global’s report on the Ten Principles for Sustainable Development of Metro Manila’s Urban Core. If you want to know more about this, click here. The recommendations were “based on a collaborative approach which canvassed the views of a wide variety of stakeholders through interviews, workshops and focus-group discussions.” (excerpt taken from ULI PH FB page).

The occasion was also ripe to share the Building Healthy Places Toolkit – Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment. The document accessible online contains 21 recommendations, applications, and project cases on how to apply the toolkit divided into three categories (Physical Activity, Food & Water, and Environment). The following are some of those recommendations that could be applied to Metro Manila:

  1. Physical Activity – Build Play Spaces for Children.
  2. Food & Water – Host a Farmer’s Market.
  3. Environment – Increase access to nature.

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