We Built This City
Filinvest City : A Blueprint for Balanced Living
A city built intentionally serves a greater purpose—to
fulfill all the needs and desires of all who live within
its fold. Filinvest City in the Metro South proudly
shows how it can be done.
In n recent years, Filinvest City has become the epicenter of economic activity in the Metro South, bringing to light a grand vision of mixed developments such as residential communities and condominiums, malls and commercial centers, hotel chains, and business hubs.
Today, Filinvest City has become a thriving central business district, or CBD, at par with other business capitals in the metro such as Makati, Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Ortigas, and the Manila Bay area. But this was not the case some two decades ago.
In 1995, it was simply an empty expanse of land—244 hectares of underutilized stock farm that the late Chairman Emeritus of Filinvest Development Corporation Andrew Gotianun Sr., realized as having great potential. He, together with his team of engineers, developers, and other experts, recognized the opportunity to build a city from the ground up, as they saw fit — one that was master-planned and which would become a true model of modern urban development.
LEARNING FROM THE MISTAKES
One of the greatest ills of Metro Manila, as many agree, is the lack of master-planning and smart urban design. Each CBD governs its own progress. And while they flourish, they also grow separately and disjointed from each other, making the flow of business and movement from city to city, CBD to CBD, very inconvenient and constricted. While the growth and progress of these CBDs are to be lauded, traffic
and transportation, among other things, have become unbearable.
There’s also an imbalance of infrastructure and open spaces, with concrete buildings creeping into what should be open public space.
Filinvest City identified these issues from the very beginning and determined what it would take to correct them. Thus, when developing the Metro South, they designed Filinvest City based on a well planned blueprint that brought order and structure, as well as balance, that could support the
different lifestyles of the people and communities.
Don Ubaldo, Filinvest Alabang Inc.’s Senior Assistant Vice President for Townships, shares, “We have always believed that urban planning is not just about creating structures. More than determining relationships between structures and edifices, urban planning is about designing how people move around these structures, and ultimately, designing a way of life. That is what we consider when doing
masterplans of communities.”
Filinvest City was then envisioned to include more open spaces, public parks, bike lanes, and green architecture. According to Ubaldo, it was to be a city that nurtured a live-work play environment, and where everything is within easy reach.
When it came to planning the CBD, Filinvest City developers drew inspiration from the country’s sister cities in Southeast Asia. “We took note of the best practices in other cities like Singapore where greens are integrated into the CBD. In addition, we divided the city into zones and districts, with each area playing a vital role in the dynamism of the city,” Ubaldo explains.
In the Metro South CBD, these districts are the City Centre where Festival Alabang, the biggest lifestyle mall in the Metro South, is located; the Northgate District, which is also the IT hub of Filinvest City; the Spectrum District, the designated center of commerce with high-rise offices; South Station, and the transport hub, among others.
Each zone is distinct and serves a specific purpose, yet all are woven together into a seamless community, accessible via a complex transportation network comprised of electric jeepneys, shuttle services, and buses, among others. This allows great freedom and ease of movement for residents and
corporate professionals, and makes working in the Southern CBD incredibly attractive.
“As a general rule, all the zones/districts must be mixeduse, ensuring that each would be self-sustaining,” says Ubaldo. “There still has to be a dominant character or use.” In Northgate, for instance, the dominant locator there is Northgate Cyberzone, the premier IT hub. But residential buildings, hotels and serviced apartments, and other retail hubs are also found there.”