Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CASE STUDY: Why not use Marikina Danger Zones as Showcase for Adaptive Architecture?

If the habagat flooding is now the new normal according to the DENR, that means government will be spending millions, if not billions, every time it floods. The social cost of evacuating residents, feeding them, the clearing operations, clean up, and relief operations will drain government coffers.

As a former business development executive of Megaworld Land and as a consultant now doing market and “best-use” studies for property developers, I would like to pose this challenge to Megaworld, Ayala Land, Robinsons Land, Filinvest, etc:

Is it possible for you to build mid-rise housing buildings or detached housing units in flood-free areas of Marikina in exchange (SWAP) for land that will be vacated by residents in danger zones?

Let's make it easy for residents to say “yes.” Of course, these homes have sentimental value ... but if they will be able to transfer to a safer home or benefit from an upgrade of living conditions because of the "swap deal" with property developers ... they will grab the opportunity. It is easier for them to say yes if they don't have to fork out a huge amount because the flood has effectively devalued their properties even if they are able to sell it. So, this swapping offer is their only hope and what they will be entitled to is commensurate to the pre-flood value of the home they are swapping.

You can then level the land, start from scratch, and use these swapped properties for your "adaptive architecture" developments where you can highlight the river as a unique water feature. In effect, converting this geographical threat and weakness into an opportunity and strength.

Exclusive villages with elegant homes with boat docks and ground floor lanai/veranda (open first floor with bedrooms, living and dining rooms, etc upstairs) designed to adapt to water or potential flooding will attract the affluent much like how Eton City in SLEX and Lakeshore in NLEX with their man-made lakes did.

We just have to be creative.

Or, you can build facilities that will give you a decent ROI without endangering lives. Ex. sports facilities, arenas, stadiums, etc. that have no one sleeping in them but only athletes or artists working out, practicing, competing, or performing. Games and concerts can be easily cancelled once a flood alert is raised.

At the periphery, the development plan can include facilities and services that support these sporting cum performing arts venues like sports rehabilitation hospitals, therapy clinics, factories for sports equipment/accessories, etc.

This concept supports the existing Sports Center and Marikina's positioning as "sports hub" while solving the problem of having thousands of families living in danger zones along the river.

Think about it. We can develop this further with the help of other experts like Paulo Alcazaren, Jun Palafox, etc.

What do you think?

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