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SMDC helps build better, more sustainably with integrated communities

Published By: | February 26, 2021

In 2018, 4.2 billion people or 55 percent of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2050, urban population is expected to balloon to 6.5 billion, according to estimates cited by the United Nations Development Programme.

While this growth can potentially lead to a boom in mega-cities and improve the residents’ quality of living, unplanned rapid urbanization may leave cities vulnerable to disasters, with unreliable power systems, congested roads, inadequate housing, among others.

Thus today, both public and private sectors are putting sustainability at the front and center of urban planning and property development as they realize the significance of creating healthy, livable integrated urban communities not just for today’s urban dwellers but also for the generations to come. But is the Philippines ready for sustainable communities and what does that exactly mean? Are we taking the right steps to create these communities?

“Sustainability is where the triple dividends of society, economy and the environment benefit the present and future generations,” notes Chris Rollo, UN-Habitat country programme manager for the Philippines.

In the case of Metro Manila, however, there is no single urban plan that will guide all 17 local governments. This, Rollo said, “breeds a lot of dysfunctionalities and a lot of inconsistencies in local policies. That’s why when you look at Metro Manila, it’s supposed to be one big urban agglomeration with an efficient system. But systems are not as efficient.”

Fortunately, some developers have taken to heart their commitment toward sustainability. This is why SMDC has committed itself to building integrated lifestyle districts, which place residents in convenient proximity to establishments, institutions, offices and business hubs, essential shops and services, retail, dining and entertainment centers, and transport hubs to bring the economic opportunities closer to people. This creates a healthy ecosystem that benefits everyone in and around the integrated community.

A truly integrated lifestyle awaits future residents of SMDC South 2 Residences, located within the SM Southmall Lifestyle Complex, with access to over 300 retail shops and services within the mall, offices, medical facilities, government services and transport terminals.

“SMDC views sustainability in terms of three pillars—economic, environmental and social. On economic, we strive to keep our units affordable and we ensure that the development is conveniently located. Our residences belong to integrated developments that create employment opportunities for the community. On the environmental part, we emphasize disaster resiliency. On the social aspect, we assure that our developments offer our residents a safe and secure environment that provides opportunities for interaction and community activities,” SMDC president Jose Marie Banzon said.

“In fact, we have 35 residential projects in integrated developments and so far, they have all developed into thriving communities and we’re quite happy how these turned out,” he added.#

Know more about how the Philippines is moving towards sustainable, integrated communities in a webinar, Building Integrated Communities for a Sustainable Future, airing via STAR FB Event Page: on February 24, 11 am.

Panelists will include Chris Rollo, UN Habitat country programme manager, David Leechiu, CEO of Leechiu Property Consultants Inc., and SM Development Corp. president Jose Mari Banzon. The webinar will be moderated by TV host Karen Davila *Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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