The One-Stop Life: Sustainable Living in a Mixed-Use Development

Last Updated on March 4, 2019 by

By keeping things close, sustainability itself seemingly becomes more obtainable in local real estate

Many of the world’s megacities are moving towards developing properties using a holistic approach to meet the needs of today’s rapid urbanization. In the Philippines, it has been no different. Township development—or Mixed Use Developments—have become increasingly common, not just because of its effect on community building but to its contribution to sustainable living.

Open Spaces That Count

For Ayala Land’s Group Head for Strategic Landbank Management, Ana Margarita Dy, one of the characteristics that make up a would-be thriving Mixed-Use Development is the efficient use of space that is also beautifully designed. At Lamudi Philippines’ The Outlook event held last November, Dy shared, “Our objective therefore is to make open spaces that count. They are strategically positioned, easily accessible, and openly inviting. Designed not just to be visibly beautiful, but more importantly, designed for interaction.”

Dy used Bonifacio Global City in Taguig as an example of a thriving Mixed-Use Development, wherein end-users are able to live within close proximity to where they work, and where they can enjoy recreational activities, go through retail spaces and be central enough to be near schools, hospitals and other similar establishments and facilities.

According to Joshua Herndon in an applied research paper for SMARTech Home, Georgia

Institute of Technology, and a non-profit education and research organization, Urban Land Institute, mixed-use developments need to have the following: “three or more significant revenue-producing uses (such as retail/entertainment, office, residential, hotel, and/or civic/ cultural recreation)…significant physical and functional integration of project components, including uninterrupted pedestrian connections…”

With the current landscape of the Philippine workforce and their lifestyle, it has been only natural for local real estate to gravitate towards the making of multi-use developments like Bonifacio Global City, Suntrust Ecotown in Cavite, and SMDC’s The MOA Integrated LIfestyle District in Pasay City.

One successful example is Megaworld’s Eastwood city, which many consider as the very first and most successful integrated township in the country. The 18-hectare megacommunity is complete with office spaces, recreational and retail spaces, pedestrian and animal-friendly places where residents and end-users can enjoy living, working, playing, all in one area.

Prioritizing Pedestrians for Sustainable Living

Road scarcity and the lack of supporting transportation infrastructure is a defining characteristic of living life in Manila. Commuters in Metro Manila can easily find themselves stuck in traffic for two to three hours daily depending on where they work. A lot of time can be wasted on the road; time that they find could be put to better use if they had lived in proximity to where they work. This is one reason why mixed-use developments are gaining popularity among developers in NCR’s bigger cities.

With these mixed-use developments strategically located where office spaces and business districts are, it is relatively easy to promote walking and bicycle use. Mixed-use neighborhoods —their density and interconnectedness—make using public transportation and reverting back to a more pedestrian lifestyle more feasible, producing a positive impact of an vehicle based commuter culture.

Going Beyond Going Green for Sustainability

Many developers have followed suit, including SMDC, Alveo Land Corporation, Megaworld, Century Properties, among others. It has become the new norm for property development and a possible solution for the congestion problem in Metro Manila. not only are they looking to find a solution for congestion, developers are also taking a stand to build and create spaces and living spaces that are more environmentally friendly and will likely reduce carbon emissions and their carbon footprint in the long run. To that end, property giant, Ayala Land committed in January 2017 to be carbon-neutral in five years.

However, Ayala Land’s Ana Margarita Dy says that sustainable living in mixed-use developments is not just about “going green”. She says that mixed-use developments are popular and profitable because they are striving to “satisfy the most basic of human needs: social interaction.”

With community-building as the priority and the creation of spaces especially designed for human interaction at the forefront, property developers, now more than ever, need to ensure that the spaces they are creating will stand the test of time and show that sustainability can be achieved for future generations.


Main image via Deposit Photos


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