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Manila’s New Smart City Run by Artificial Intelligence

One of Asia’s densest urban cities will be made more liveable when The New Manila Bay – City of Pearl (designed by hpa) is completed in 2030.

Manila’s New Smart City Run by Artificial Intelligence

The Philippines is one of Asia’s fastest urbanising countries, with 38 cities, 1,496 municipalities and 42,027 barangays (districts). In Metro Manila, which spans just over 600 square kilometres (smaller than the tiny city-state of Singapore), the population is expected to reach 14 million by 2030.

More than a third of the Philippines’ urban population lives in slums and pollution and traffic congestion are big issues. But as one of Asia’s densest mega cities, Manila has its eyes set boldly on the future when it comes to city planning and development. Case in point: The New Manila Bay – City of Pearl.

Described as the “first Asian smart city in the development stage” and designed by Hong Kong architectural practice hpa, The New Manila Bay – City of Pearl is a project on the cutting edge.

It’s a 407-hectare city and new integrated CBD, connected by a loop road network, with an advanced driverless railway system running throughout. The inner ring features an extensive central park and golf course, while the outer ring looks out onto the views of Manila Bay. Water taxis connect the North and South Islands to other districts in the capital, assuring a walkable city with travel time no longer than 20 minutes. Renewable energy (solar and tidal power) will also be utilised to ensure renewable energy production and consumption. A state-of-the-art sports stadium, a waterfront promenade, as well as residential and commercial areas will present over 50,000 job opportunities for the community. It is also expected to provide homes for nearly half a million people.

“We believe in the ability to enhance our future in accordance with cutting edge technology, and with our team of talented architects and designers, we are able to create, from ground zero to completion, a city that will, in essence, run itself,” says Nicholas Ho, Deputy Managing Director of hpa.

Despite the focus on technology, hpa says the project follows its company philosophy of designing for people. Following this approach, the firm undertook three main areas of research.

The first centred on creating a smart city with a smart grid that allows artificial intelligence to monitor the consumption, production and transportation of energy efficiently. Says Ho, “The SMART Grid is a revolutionary infrastructural and utility gird that enables artificial intelligence to effectively monitor the consumption, production, storage and transportation of energy. At the same time, it will provide flexibility for localised consumption.”

The second aspect was sustainability: how to reduce solar intake and promote a green and sustainable building environment, and enhance the quality of life for residents. And the third was on self-sustainability: to design a city with residential, commercial, healthcare, educational, recreational, retail and all other types of facilities and services that were all efficiently connected.

The New Manila Bay – City of Pearl is the biggest Belt and Road project between the Philippines and China to date. The project is estimated to be completed in 2030.

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