a cocoon by any other name

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"?

Just asking.

Image credit: BusinessWorld Online


juned said...

I would think, not affordable for the middle class. A lot of my co-workers are getting houses but outside of Metro Manila: Rizal, Bulacan and Laguna.

Urbano dela Cruz said...

the unchecked market forces are spinning out the metro. as people buy further and further out - commute times and traffic get worse.

Sidney said...

Fort bus picture is in your Gmail box.

Ivan ManDy said...

And it doesnt help that we dont have the necessary safety nets to the mass migration to the suburbs.

Didnt we get a loan from the Chinese government (US$400,000,000) to rehabilitate the north railways line?

Well, the squatters are still there (at least in the portion close to our place in Blumenttrit, Sta. Cruz!)

Urbano dela Cruz said...


I think a more rational plan for the northrail should include transit oriented development at the stations. so rather than just relocating the informal settlers to another area (and going by our history, probably a hard to reach area) - relocating them into mixed-income communities around the new train stations would improve their quality of life, maximize the use of the train, and prevent sprawl

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