Sustainable cities are known to have positive effects on the environment, which in turn creates an improved quality of life for its citizens. However, its smart design not only benefits both the environment and people but the economic performance of the city as well. In the Philippines, there is a township in the Metro South that has been blazing the trail for sustainable, future-ready cities—Filinvest City in Alabang.

Filinvest City has designated more than 30 percent of its 244-hectare land development for green, open spaces, where people can truly experience and make the most out of nature. With this, the central business district has been recently awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED v4 Gold for Neighborhood Development (LEEDv4 ND) certification. It is the first central business district (CBD) in the Philippines and one of the largest in Southeast Asia to surpass the world’s most rigorous sustainable neighborhood rating system and earn such recognition. LEED is run by the prestigious non-profit U.S. Green Building Council, which recognizes designs that are environmentally responsible from construction to maintenance.

“The USGBC recognized Filinvest City for its commitment and dedication to building ecologically responsible infrastructures, sustainable community, urban innovation, and its unwavering promise to giving back to the community,” Dean Barone, Sustainability Consultant and Director of Manila-based Barone International, said.

Even before the pandemic struck, Filinvest City’s urban planning, design, and smart growth are demonstrated with walkable streets and lush open spaces required by the metro’s changing needs and lifestyle. The lush natural landscapes, which include the trees scattered all over the city, the now-completed Spectrum Linear Park and the soon to be completed Central and Creekside Parks, support native vegetation, nourished by recycled water captured on the site to eliminate the use of potable water for irrigation. Far different from the highly congested Metro Manila, Filinvest City allows people to enjoy the luxury of space and clean, fresh air which can be beneficial to the people’s health and mental wellbeing. All these green features further showcase the top developer’s expertise in a sustainable, future-proof masterplan that Filinvest City has been practicing for years.

“The LEED Gold Certification is proof that we are on the right track in building a sustainable and future-ready CBD that is different from the cities everyone is accustomed to in the city. This has been a vision of Filinvest Development Corporation founder Andrew L. Gotianun Sr. many years ago,” explained Filinvest Alabang Inc. president and chief operating officer Catherine Ilagan.

At Filinvest City, the Cityzens already had a foretaste of the new normal which has widely contributed to lessening the pandemic’s impacts. Its pedestrian-friendly neighborhood allows ease of movement and encourages walking, jogging, and cycling along its dedicated bike lanes in conjunction with wide, shaded sidewalks to promote health and wellbeing while maintaining social distancing. The township maintains safe and secure environments within its enclaves.

“The foundation of Filinvest City is grounded on forethought and compassion, which we feel are essential in a city to be more resilient to future challenges such as this pandemic and climate-related risks in the future,” Ilagan adds.

The LEEDv4 Gold certification cemented Filinvest City’s position as a frontier for economic growth against the backdrop of its green vision, thus it earns the title “the Garden City of the Metro South.” With the certification, the City proved that it embodies the sustainability principles, such as smart growth and new urbanism by lowering its operating costs and raising its asset value, reducing waste sent to landfills, conserving the use of energy and water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, among other nature-positive activities.

By enhancing the livability in its properties, these measures have proven to have economic benefits that influence property values and attract investors. As such, Filinvest City continues to enjoy a robust land value appreciation with an annual growth rate of more than 20 percent in the last ten years, making it an ideal location for companies and investors.

As sustainability greatly contributes to the longevity of CBDs, locators, residents, employees, and transients are confident that Filinvest City will thrive for a long period.

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