San Miguel Corp. said Tuesday it tapped architect Felino “Jun” Palafox to develop the masterplan for its airport city in Bulacan province and other future infrastructure projects.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said Palafox would help master plan the airport city development and integrate sustainability features into the upcoming Pasig River Expressway and other infrastructure projects.
Palafox will also help find ways to sustainably retrofit the company’s road networks to further meet social, economic and environmental needs.
Palafox, founder and head of architectural firm Palafox Associates, is one of the country’s top urban planners known for advocating and incorporating sustainable features and environment planning into his projects.
“From the beginning, we made it very clear that for both the airport and airport city projects, we will make sure that that they are designed with sustainability in mind, ensuring protection and enhancement of the environment, and positive social impacts,” Ang said.
“I am very glad that architect Jun Palafox has joined us on this mission to build the best and most sustainable airport, city and infrastructure network in our country,” he said.
Ang said that in building the airport city development, which is separate from the airport development itself, both SMC and Palafox were looking to correct some of the shortcomings in the development of other urban centers, including Makati and BGC.
“What we hope to do is have even better urban planning for the airport city. First, access will not be a problem, we want to avoid traffic jams which is the result of poor transportation and limited road networks leading into and out of the airport city. Second, we want to improve on open spaces, to have more of them, perhaps make them interconnect. Parks, wider pedestrian areas, dedicated bicycle paths—these are just some of the things we want to include in the masterplan,” Ang said.
“We also want to enhance the natural environment while minimizing our impact on them. Most importantly, we will incorporate design and engineering measures to mitigate environmental risks,” he said.
Apart from helping master plan the airport city development, Ang said that Palafox was also tapped as consultant for all upcoming expressway and mass transit projects, including the Pasig River Expressway which includes the much-awaited rehabilitation of the Pasig River.
“Our expressway projects are all designed to decongest Metro Manila’s major roads by diverting more private vehicles and freeing up space for commuters and public transportation. But they are also designed to serve as a platform for other modes of mobility, including mass transportation such as bus rapid transit or high-capacity point-to-point transport systems. Palafox will help us bring all these to reality,” Ang said.
Apart from BRT, Ang said the company was looking to incorporate more people-centric, sustainable urban design into future projects.