The Philippines plans 'a green, smart city' to remedy Manila's traffic and air pollution

The 'New Clark City' project is expected to improve the traffic congestion and high pollution in the capital city

Photo courtesy of the newclarkcityph.com

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In order to get rid of Manila's traffic and choking air pollution the Philippines government is looking to create a green and high tech "smart city" which will see drones, self-driving vehicles and environmentally friendly designs and technologies. 

The new city named New Clark City, is currently being planned some 75 miles from Manila in Central Luzon. 

The project is expected to free Manila from its congestion and high pollution. The city plans to house 2 million people and is anticipated to contribute US$30 billion to the country's economy annually according to local media reports. 

The city will be planned in such a manner as to be sustainable and resilient in the event of natural disasters, designed to mitigate disasters like those Manila has faced in the past with flooding and typhoon damage.

According to the city's official website, the project is being led by Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which is one of the key government agencies tasked to implement President Duterte's ambitious "Build Build Build" program aimed at improving and modernizing the Philippines' infrastructure.

Aiming to build the city of the future, New Clark City will be the Philippines first smart and green city, reports CNBC.

According to the report, since the Philippines still has a long way to go in terms of economic development, the project is mainly being funded by public-private partnerships, a move which has been claimed as vital for the country's development. 

According to Singapore-based urban planning firm Surbana Jurong, one of the partners in the project, the city will help decrease Manila's traffic congestion and with the latest technologies will also help tackle issues related to the increasing population of the country, reports CNBC. 

"You'll gradually see Manila becoming a different type of city, maybe more financial to support the New Clark City, and in New Clark City you'll see new technology companies coming through," Surbana Jurong CEO Heang Fine Wong explained.

The report also suggests New Clark City as the "twin" of Manila city as the government is committed to moving key offices to the new city, which is also planned to be the main location for foreign investment. 

A brand new railway line is also being constructed by the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development which would reduce the travel time between New Clark City and Manila to one hour rather than the two-three hours that it takes currently. 

The first phase of the project is due to be completed by 2022, but Wong suggested the target timeline will keep developing as technologies advance.