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Mixed-Use Developments: Creating People-Oriented Cities

makati at night

Urban growth in the Philippines is nearly at a breakneck speed. With a current population of over 12 million in Metro Manila and more than 1.6 million vehicles traversing NCR roads, efficient land use is a necessity to ensure cities meet everyone’s current and future needs.

Buildings need to do more — but with less. As such, real estate development can’t rely on standalone commercial centers, offices, and residential buildings.

The solution is mixed-use developments throughout the Philippines.

Decentralizing Manila

Better economic opportunities are the main reason people choose to relocate or travel to and from the metro each day. Living in key urban areas also gives you proximity to critical establishments and facilities in terms of education, healthcare, residential, and entertainment.

Mixed-use developments serve as satellite communities in provincial areas. These properties integrate residential units among leisure establishments, corporate offices, and sometimes even hospitals and schools. Because the location contains commercial, retail, industrial, and residential uses, people won’t have to travel to the metro to find what they need.

Such integrated developments unlock economic opportunities across the country. And the more commerce hubs we have, the stronger the push is for economic growth.

A number of factors have to be considered to support the construction of mixed-use developments in provincial areas. For one, an aggressive expansion of road networks and mass transit systems is necessary to keep people connected despite being decentralized. An efficient transport network gives people greater mobility and accessibility.

Transit Connectivity

Many mixed-use developments are near major thoroughfares, enabling people to travel easily and conveniently to their destinations. Some also have their transport networks, such as shuttle and bus services. For instance, Ayala Land is known for its Point-to-Point bus system, with multiple routes that take commuters from prominent landmarks in one city to another.

The high number of private cars is one of the primary causes of traffic paralysis. These vehicles take up enormous road space but move only a small number of people at a time, compared to mass transportation. As such, efficient public transport networks are crucial to decongesting major thoroughfares. Shorter travel times and a pleasant transport experience can convince people to commute instead of drive.

Walkability is another important feature in mixed-use developments.


Some integrated developments prioritize pedestrians instead of cars, which is evident through wider walkways and covered footbridges and underpasses. An example is the Makati Central Business District. The weather-protected overpass that connects Makati Medical Center to Greenbelt makes the more than a kilometer walk easy for pedestrians.

Pedestrian-friendly infrastructures not only lower the number of cars on the road, but they also promote sustainability. The rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere calls for sustainability in mixed-use estates.

Pedestrian priority-planning is integral to sustainable mixed-use developments that aim to reduce carbon emissions since it encourages people to walk instead of to take their cars.

Apart from walkability, sustainable mixed-use developments aim for eco-efficiency and incorporate green spaces into the estate.

Sustainability and Eco-Efficiency

Sustainability creates a chain of benefits for communities, the environment, and the future. As such, many mixed-use development projects in the Philippines comprise of open parks and trees to address the country’s lack of green spaces. This feature allows residents to experience a modern, urban lifestyle that’s close to nature.

Nuvali, Ayala Land’s largest eco-city, is known for having tree-lined walking and biking trails, giving people safe spaces to enjoy outdoor activities.

Eco-efficiency is also achieved by decreasing energy and resource consumption. Electricity consumes fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide into the environment. Leveraging natural lighting and ventilation is an effective method to avoid emissions.

Ayala Malls Nuvali and Greenbelt display an unconventional architecture. Instead of the boxy layout common in malls, these two establishments feature an open design that allows natural light to filter in, reducing the number of light fixtures. Breeze can also easily circulate, reducing reliance on air-conditioning units.

But to convince people to move away from the opportunities and comforts in Manila, mixed-use developments must offer an ideal quality of life.

A Holistic Lifestyle

Integrated developments combine recreational, residential, and commercial establishments in one setting, so people don’t have to travel far and wide out of necessity. This proximity satisfies the population’s demand for convenience, accessibility, and exclusivity.

Mixed-use developments eliminate your need to travel a total of hours each day just to go to work since employment opportunities and office spaces abound in the area. Leisure and recreational facilities are also available in the form of malls and parks. And green spaces are within reach, so you can spend a day in the outdoors whenever you want.

These features – upscale amenities and facilities, green spaces, plus eco-efficiency – represent the ideal community that would help you achieve a desirable work-life integration.

Ultimately, the goal of mixed-use developments in the Philippines is to use land efficiently and maximize it for the benefit of the population. Creating people-oriented communities in provincial areas means giving them what they need where they are, eliminating relocation to the metro.

For more information on mixed-use developments, call us today to see the convenient setting of your future home, office, and favorite hangout spot.