CRAZY QUILT By Tanya T. Lara (The Philippine Star)
Updated February 12, 2012 12:00 AM

NUVALI is a fully integrated masterplanned development that allows people to embrace a lifestyle of responsibility with progress.

Whenever people hear the word “sustainable,” the first things they think of are usually a green bag, carbon footprint, recycling garbage and carbon emission.

Ask executives of Ayala Land about the same thing and they will tell you sustainability is all this — and also so much more beyond this. They look at the big picture and for the long term. In all of their developments — so big they can be called towns on their own — sustainability is the guiding principle.

This has always been the case with Ayala Land, according to Aniceto “Jun” Bisnar Jr., Ayala Land VP and NUVALI SVP and general manager, “Ayala was the first to build fully integrated mixed-use townships in the country. Even at the time we were building the Makati Central Business District after World War II, we already had our own sewage treatment plant and sewerage lines infrastructure planned all over the city. That was never heard of in the country before, as there was inadequate sewerage planning in Metro Manila.”

This practice has become part of Ayala Land’s DNA: to build communities, business and commercial districts, and townships that would be sustained for many generations, that have the ability to evolve with the changing times, and to support the communities that surround them.

You can see this in three of Ayala Land’s largest masterplanned, fully-integrated, mixed-use communities in the country: Makati, NUVALI , and Bonifacio Global City (BGC), the latter in partnership with Evergreen Holdings and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

Makati City: Commerce & Culture

Ma. Carmela “Mel” Ignacio, Ayala Land AVP of the Strategic Landbank Management Group, says that Ayala Land sees sustainability as “staying relevant to people. Take the case of Makati, in spite of the fact that is it the oldest of the three districts, it continues to be the country’s premier financial district and now we want it to evolve beyond a commercial district.”

Ignacio says that the daytime population of Makati’s CBD is over half a million people and about a tenth (or 50,000) of this are actual residents.

“We have to address not just their work requirements but also their other needs. That’s why we are now developing other facets of the city like culture and entertainment. We now have more cultural events such as our unique Independence Day celebration and the Light and Sound Show at Ayala Triangle Gardens in December, which was attended on several occasions by about 10,000 people per evening —from all walks of life and not just from Makati but also from the provinces.”

Maintaining old and building new infrastructure is also one way that Makati has advanced the lifestyle of people both working and living in the CBD. To promote well-being and lessen pollution from vehicles, Makati encourages people to walk, whether it is for a break during office hours or to do personal things.

But how do you do this? The Makati Commercial Estate Association or MACEA, in partnership with Ayala Land, has been in the past 15 years or so building pedestrian walkways — above ground and below — and improving the streetscapes of the CBD. At noontime, you will see office people walking to and from Ayala Avenue for their lunch, perhaps crossing over to Greenbelt or to any of the buildings flanking Ayala Avenue, which now have retail spaces on the ground floor. Sometimes, you will even find really good restaurants on the upper floors of office buildings.

Not like decades before, Makati CBD no longer sleeps after regular office hours. BPOs are up and running 24/7 and you can see their employees on well-lighted walkways at any hour of the night.

How does art play into the sustainability of Makati? Aside from Ayala Museum, art pieces dot Greenbelt, Ayala Triangle Gardens and Glorietta’s environs. Before all this, motorists have been enjoying looking at the sculptures of heroes on Makati’s important crossroads: Gabriela Silang and Lapu-Lapu along Makati Ave. and , and Ninoy Aquino at the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Ayala Avenue.

Ignacio adds, “We would like Makati to be the leading city not just in business but also in lifestyle, culture and entertainment. We’re launching several nodes in the city, such as Makati North ( the hub stretching from Dela Rosa Street through the Ayala Avenue and Sen.Gil Puyat gateway, up to Alveo’s The Lerato towers), for the young and creative people. We have condominiums there, BPOs and we’re tweaking our offerings to cater to them. We want to provide more opportunities for everyone.”

Nuvali: Embracing Its Communities

“In NUVALI , sustainability is a 24/7 way of life,” says Jun Bisnar. He has seen this 1,860 hectares development — encompassing Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao, and Calamba — transform into a township that both sustains people and nature.

It is three times the size of Makati — so it is no small feat that all the things it does are geared toward environmental sustainability, social and economic sustainability. “We make sure that all the things we do in NUVALI adhere to the principles of environmental protection,” says Bisnar.
NUVALI is Ayala Land’s flagship eco-city development with the goal of becoming a model of sustainable development not just for the country but for the world. “We want it to be a showcase of the best environmental management and practices.”

On the environmental and leisure side, NUVALI has its own Wildlife and Bird sanctuary (more than 85 species of birds have been identified by Haribon and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines), and a four-hectare multi-functional lake with thousands of koi fish. It has three football fields, two baseball diamonds, and three sand volleyball courts. More importantly, NUVALI has preserved a 17 km. long buffer zone along a river and stream system where 100,000 trees are being planted, enabling outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy river gorges and waterfalls as nature intended. It will have a 50 kilometer-long running and biking trail that will complement its wake boarding and other outdoor attractions.

Schools often bus in students for an ecological tour around NUVALI to learn about the precarious balance that ecosystems are perched on. On weekends and holidays, NUVALI is filled with runners, bikers, and families enjoying nature, having outdoor picnics, shopping and dining together.

On the community-building aspect, NUVALI provides opportunities that would serve as additional source of livelihood to its local community partners in Laguna. Training programs include paper-basket weaving, food catering, bakery operations, soap making, making paving blocks for NUVALI’s sidewalks, parking, and other landscape requirements, and many more.

“We have special hollow blocks that utilize discarded plastic that we can use for our perimeter fence. We also taught people how to recycle paper and make them into bags. These are opportunities that even the wives in these communities can do in their own homes while the husbands are out working. We make sure that the surrounding communities around NUVALI prospers and are given opportunities for social development while we develop our projects.

Ayala Land made sure NUVALI is not just for the rich. All of its subsidiaries catering to the main market segments — from Ayala Land Premier, to Alveo and Avida, — are present in NUVALI.

Xavier School is opening a 15-hectare campus this year, complete with a football pitch and basketball courts. Twenty-five percent of its student population will be scholars from adjacent communities. Miriam College is also set to build a 15-hectare campus soon.

NUVALI’s masterplan had been in the works for 15 years, being reviewed and improved on, until ALI formally launched it in 2009. Now, about 45 percent of NUVALI is developed, being developed and sold, with retail centers Solenad 1 and 2, a showroom and interactive exhibit area at the Evoliving Center, office buildings One and Two Evotech, 10 residential subdivisions, a transport terminal and recreational attractions which are coming up soon: the 150-room Kukun hotel and an 800-people capacity events place. Its recent updates show that this large-scale sustainable development is progressing and developing faster than expectations.

BGC: Sustaining The Soul

Manny A. Blas II, head of commercial operations of Bonifacio Global City (BGC), says, “The principle of sustainability recognizes that our resources are finite, whether it’s oil or water, because we want the next generation to also benefit from them. We apply that principle in BGC, but in terms of the human person.”
NUVALI Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary

What Blas is saying is that the human spirit must also be sustained. Humanity, after all, is also finite and the length of one’s life depends on how one lives and enjoys it.

“We are physical, mental, social, and spiritual,” Blas says. “You have to take care of all aspects in a sustainable way. If you work for 12 hours a day for every day, your physical aspect will break down, but if you have a balance of the physical, social, spiritual and mental, then you become a more complete and, in a sense, sustainable person who develops your capabilities to the full.”

That’s why in BGC, which was created as the home of passionate minds, defines sustainability as a balance of all these aspects. “We are the only township that has a formal public art program led by the Bonifacio Art Foundation. Its mandate is to put the soul in the city in terms of public art and now, through The Mind Museum at Taguig, our world class science museum.”

Why art and science? “Because art and science reflects the most outstanding accomplishments of the human spirit and these uplift the spirit. You have to take care of man’s soul — that’s why BGC made it public art, not private art. It is art for everybody, art you can approach, touch, interact with.” The same holds true for our science museum – it is meant to promote the public understanding of science for people age 6 to 96.”

Art like the ones in Bonifacio High Street, where, on any given afternoon, you will see children playing with the interactive sculptures. Soon, an additional art piece can also be enjoyed at the new Bonifacio High Street Central, which starts from across the ROX side of BHS and occupies the entire block.

The foundation also has a public science program and the Mind Museum, which is about 8,000 square meters, of which 5,000 is exhibition space, with 250 exhibits in five galleries. It can accommodate 500 comfortably with enough space for kids to interact with all the exhibits.

BGC recently opened two landscaped, themed parks located parallel to Bonifacio High Street. One of them, called Terra 28th, has playground equipment designed by artist Rico Lascano and features highly artistic see-saws, slides and jungle gyms. The second park, Track 30th, is a fitness park which will open soon. It also just opened the first publicly accessible artificial-turf football pitch, called Turf BGC.

The practice of sustainability has rubbed off on developers who own properties in BGC. While it is not a requirement, more and more are trying to build LEED-certified structures. “I think the consciousness is becoming stronger.”

“If you really want to look at the long term, in 20 years, Bonifacio High Street will probably have taller buildings, but one thing we will preserve in BGC is open space, which is 15 percent of the developable area (the law requires three percent), excluding the road lots. The other thing we will maintain as part of the soul of BGC is our program for the arts and sciences. They are the oldest human traditions that show what humanity can do. The greatest achievements are in the arts and technological advancements based in science. Communicating passion through arts and science will always be BGC’s way.”

It’s exciting to see all three cities being guided by sustainability in different yet similar ways. While they have the environment in mind, it is good to know that they haven’t forgotten that humanity, too — whether the soul or fondness for the better things in life or basic need to make a livelihood needs to be sustained.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Should you be interested to know more about Ayala land properties in this areas, feel free to contact me.

Coco Midel
Sales Manager – Ayala Land Premier
M: +63.917.502.9252

KEY TAGS Ayala land investment ayala land nuvali commercial lot in nuvali commercial investment in nuvali contact person in nuvali ayala land contact number coco midel 09175029252 nuvali commercial lot availability prices