Welcome to Ayala Innovation’s special section on cities. We expected that the subject would be of interest to Ayala Group readers, given the company’s history, assets, activities, and the capabilities resident in Ayala Land. But we also quickly realized that the interest was from a much wider Ayala audience, and that it had an element of urgency.
As residents of a developing metropolis, we are regular witnesses to the pains from the increasing population and density – e.g. heavy traffic, criminality, sanitation issues, pollution, slum areas, poorly-maintained or over-utilized infrastructure, higher costs of living, and so on. Urbanization and its associated pains are unavoidably top-of-mind.
The Ayala Innovation team scans for trends, emerging technologies, market shifts, in the hope of spotting threats and opportunities early. In our consultations with external experts, some of the world’s most plugged-in future-watchers and scenario planners, we found that urbanization – the increase in the number of people living in and moving into cities — was unanimously a “mega-trend” they flagged as very significant for the Philippines, as it is for most of the world.
In our discussions with internal experts during the Innovation Summits, the Group ManCom meetings, and related workshops and surveys, smart and livable future cities theme came out as a top subject for us to monitor.
And so for the past months, we looked into various perspectives, cases, and opportunities that could present insight and promise, given the interests and capabilities of the Group.
Some of the articles you will find in this section:
- The Pasig River as an alternative transportation channel to avoid and reduce pressure on EDSA and C-5;
- Telecommuting and Shared Offices as a way to regain the time and energy lost to the long commutes to work.
- Urban density versus urban dispersion – which strategy to implement?
You will also find out about other cities initiatives that Ayala city-zens had been busy with recently.
Help us drive the discussion forward, we would appreciate to hear from you.
Spark*, the first Ayala Group Innovation Summit in 2014 identified smart cities as among the most promising opportunity themes to investigate, given Ayala Land’s expertise in cities as well as the inter-company synergy opportunities. Aside from ALI, other group companies saw resident capabilities that were relevant in smart city implementations. (E.g. IMI makes some of the world’s best car sensor technologies. A lot of that expertise is transferable onto other internet-of-things, machine-to-machine connectivity and other smart cities applications. Globe provides the connectivity backbone as well as the computing, analytics, and smart app expertise.)
JAZA in an Ateneo Forum on “The Quest for Quality Cities and Quality of Life”. The true test of a city is in its ability to let its citizen-residents actualize their potential and contribute to development. Good infrastructure, safety, cleanliness, connectivity, healthcare, and the like are essential. But so are beauty, inspiration, and opportunities for learning, artistic and spiritual expression, culture and recreation.
JAZA giving the keynote address at the first ever APEC City Mayors’ Forum on Building Better Cities, in Cebu. The conference was conceptualized and implemented by APEC 2015 COO Bill Luz, with the research support of PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Due to the relevance of its topics and the significant output, APEC has institutionalized this as a regular event under its “Urbanization” track.
FZA speaking on “Urbanizing Asia: Potential in Developing Cities” during Credit Suisse’ “The Future: Global Megatrends Conference”
Fort Bonifacio Development Corp and Globe Telecom have been cooperating to make traffic and commuting around and about BGC less painful with real-time information systems. All BGC buses are equipped with GPS, which enables route tracking and precise information on arrival times.
Manny Blas, Fort Bonifacio Development Corp. Head of Commercial Operations, explaining how precise information on bus arrival times eases passenger waiting pains, and frees them up to shop, eat, or do errands before their bus arrives.
The BGC Estate Association collaborated on the Urban Land Institute’s study on Metro Manila’s new urban core. BGCEA President Meean Dy reaffirmed her commitment to implement plans according to the principles agreed on in the study.
Prof. Toby Monsod of the UP School of Economics discussing balancing opportunities for development when planning cities, at the Ayala Land Forum on Inclusive Cities
Executives from various Ayala Group Companies and foreign experts from IBM’s “Smarter Cities” practice, finding ways to implement smart cities during Ayala Innovation’s Sparklet Workshop on Smart Cities.
ALI Innovation & Design Head Joel Luna and ALI Sustainability Manager Anna Gonzales at the “Maynila Urban Design Week” with fellow architects Paolo Alcazaren and Dinky Von Einsiedel and “walkable city” advocates, Pamela Cajilig of Curiosity Design Research, and urban planner Julia Nebrija of Project MNL
The Future Cities panel moderated by Rosemarie Ong, Director, PwC. Panelists include: John McGrath, Worldwide Practice Leader for Smarter Cities, IBM; Joel Luna, Head of Innovation and Design Group, ALI; Myra Ocampo, Deputy Commercial Director of Fort Bonifacio Development (for Manny Blas); and Bill Luz, Co-Chair of the National Competitiveness Council, and Chief Operating Officer of APEC City Mayors Forum on Livable Cities 2015.
Miko Montelibano, Head of Business Development and Innovation for Ayala Corp; and master of ceremonies for Spark 2.0 recounting and connecting the many valuable insights from the packed day.