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ALI prioritizes connectivity, sustainability through mixed-use estates

Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) will continue to build estates around the country that are seen as centers of growth, connectivity and sustainability. ALI, a pioneer in creating mixed-use developments, now has 24 estates across the Philippines ranging in size from 10 hectares up to 2,000 hectares.

“As more people around the world live in urban areas each year, we believe that building mixed-use estates that are compact and interconnected humanizes the experience of living in a city,” said ALI Senior Vice President and Head of the Strategic Landbank Management Group Anna Ma. Margarita Dy.

ALI Senior Vice President and Head of the Strategic Landbank Management Group Anna Ma. Margarita Dy

At a recent a gathering of the real-estate industry’s thought leaders organized by online property group Lamudi, Dy shared that over 50% of the world’s population now live in urban areas and this could reach 80% by the end of the century.

According to The World’s Cities in 2016 – Data Booklet, a report by the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division released in 2016, there are 512 cities with a population of at least one million people and there are 31 mega cities in the world – or cities with more than 10 million people.

To be successful in the context of mega cities, Dy stressed that developments need to be connected to other developments, and to the rest of the world. “Mixed-use estates, rather than stand-alone developments, achieve these and allow goods and talent to move more freely,” shared Dy.

Each of ALI’s estates highlights a particular focus area — be it wellness, active lifestyles, and creative technology, among others; and feature partnerships with institutions such as the Xavier School, Miriam College, Everest Academy and St. Luke’s Medical Center.

“They all have one thing in common, however: they are all positioned near major infrastructure such as toll roads, railways, sea ports and airports,” explained Dy.

She cited Arca South as an example, which is built around ease of connectivity with its Integrated Transport System set to accommodate 2,000 provincial buses as they enter Metro Manila from the south. ALI’s flagship development in Ayala Center, One Ayala, will also become a major intermodal transport hub – one of the biggest and most convenient transport infrastructures that will link tens of thousands of pedestrians each day to city buses, taxis, shuttles, and the MRT.

In line with this, ALI has made sure that ‘walkability’ and the availability of usable open spaces are ensured in all of its estates.

The company’s pedestrian and transit connectivity tenet is focused on three areas, namely pedestrian priority-planning, the building of weather protected walkways, and providing for easy-to-access transit terminals. Aside from the Makati CBD and Bonifacio Global City, other ALI estates such as Circuit Makati, Arca South, Alviera, Vermosa, Cloverleaf, and Altaraza feature pedestrian-friendly streets and incorporate public transit connections into their master plans.

“A key objective in all our developments is to also make open spaces that count. These public areas are strategically-positioned, easily-accessible, openly-inviting and designed not just to be visibly beautiful, but for interaction,” highlighted Dy.

Most importantly, sustainability remains front and center in everything Ayala Land does. “All our estates today are measured against our Sustainability Pillars of Site Resiliency, Pedestrian-Transit Connectivity, Eco-efficiency and Local Economic Growth. These metrics are as important to us as our financial targets,” she shared.

In January this year, ALI announced that it was embarking on a significant carbon emissions off-setting program – becoming the first Philippine property developer to target carbon neutrality by 2022. According to Dy, “We plan to achieve this by partially transitioning to renewable energy, but mainly through long-term forest regeneration. Both of these initiatives are already on their way, and we are confident of our 2022 goals.”

Dy closed her talk by enjoining other thought leaders to embrace sustainability.

“Our challenge as developers is doing [business] responsibly and sustainably, balancing our financial goals with social responsibilities and always thinking of developing estates that can transcend time.” (Press Release)