UPDATE 8.19.05: I hadn't been checking my email box - Sydney sent me the same story on the same day. Synchronicity for you! Or rather are birds of the same feather... ?
Caught this article in yesterday's BusinessWorld Online. Apparently the apple of the pinoy developer's eye is creating "work-live-play environments." In other places this would be called mixed-use development. And you see them developing around - Rockwell, Eastwood, the new Greenbelt...
Off-hand, this is a good thing, as any departure from the sprawl-inducing, traffic-causing euclidean zoning is good. BUT (of course there has to be a but) will it lead to another form of spatial insularity? Are these "cocoons" -built on high-end retail and entertainment centers -shaping up to be the new enclaves?
"I think the theme is still for most part affordability. Condominiums that are moving right now are the ones that address affordability concerns," (Richard T. Raymundo, director for the research and consultancy division of Colliers International Philippines) said. These are those that have studio types and one-bedroom units.
Affordable for whom?
Is it too much to dream that our cities can enact inclusionary zoning regulations? After all, we do have a staggering housing backlog (to the tune of close to 250,000 units a year).
Or can we impose exactions - like requiring publicly accessible parks and open spaces or creating special tax funds to benefit public schools and barangay health centers within a 5-kilometer distance from these "cocoons"?