Sustainability in Urban Design

It is not enough for a place to be habitable. It also needs to be sustainable.

Urban design is the process, design, and organization of public space, transportation systems, and open space. With half of the Earth’s population crowding in cities, urban design needs to take a hard look at its mechanisms. Each city must commit and choose sustainable development. The Philippines in terms of population and the economy exponentially grows each year. But, the land areas of its cities remain the same. The same rings true in other cities across the globe. Three (almost four) billion people stay in these urban areas. Therefore, the role of urban design has a significant impact in today’s contemporary way of life.

According to a United Nations’ (UN) report, 60% of the Earth’s population will crowd cities by 2030. This is not good news for various reasons.

Millenials are slow to pick up the traces of needing change concerning their way of living. Thus, it is better for the current millennia to have the collective movement of individuals, industries, and countries to commit to change. The foundation of inhabitation – the Earth, is ruined and its cries are getting louder. The natural structure of planet is sacrificed to have the luxurious comfort of the modern life. The towering skyscrapers, concrete housing units, and asphalt plazas are chosen over the lush greeneries and the natural wonders of the world.

Urban Development

Urban development is a perennial threat to nature. Fortunately, developers like Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), considers the site’s ecosystem in their planning and design. Bobby Dy coins the term “eco-efficient.” It is a simple yet effective word that summarizes the purpose of their city districts. Natural resources or the natural state of the land area should not be sacrificed because of urban design and development. ALI patterns their design to the area’s original state.

The best example of eco-efficiency is their dynamic suburb in the South, Nuvali. Nuvali has a long stretch of green grass park and open spaces. The structure mixes modern suburban living with green zones and forestry. It also encourages recreation and outdoor activities which are refreshing for the modern dwellers.

Organization and Open Spaces

Although aesthetic plays a major role in urban setting, it is important for a developer to consider general public interest and not be biased towards age and way of living. When the city or structure is open to everyone, the need to have access to additional public infrastructure is removed. The environment becomes inclusive and inclined to only one goal – providing for the years to come.

Ayala Land is best known for their wholesome urban design. The company follows its focus areas as a guide during planning – resilience, pedestrian and transit connectivity, eco-efficiency and local economic development.

Their latest land developments incorporate wide spaces and parks. Having these spaces encourages time off the digital world and physical activity. It also lessens the dependence on vehicles as these places are conducive to walking. Most importantly, it discourages cul-de-sacs which can be rampant in urban areas. The design also creates low-carbon cities because they become walkable and mass transit-oriented. This is much more sustainable and healthier for the people. It also gives a high quality of life to residents.

Economic Vibrancy

A thing, structure or endeavor that is sustainable is said to solve today’s problems while also providing for the problems of the future. Generations to come should meet their own needs using these structures and environment-friendly solutions. Thus, it should be an enabling environment.

Rapid urbanization puts pressure on resources. Densely-packed cities can lack sources of fresh water supply and strain the living environment and public health. During planning, local and small-scale businesses are heavily considered. The shops and stores should be strategically placed so they may contribute to poverty reduction. There should also be designated spaces for public utility and health services.

Cloverfield, an ALI development in the North, is an example of a well-planned community that employs living, retail, and health. The development has a residential tower, shopping mall, park and a hospital – all within walking distance.

Well-planned public spaces commune communities and people together. Physical and cultural activities, recreation and play, are also encouraged. The spaces restore a sense of place, identity, and pride in an area, and play a significant part in attracting businesses and jobs. Thus, poverty is reduced.

Technology has picked up speed on constructing megacities, but it has not made low-carbon cities. Local and international urban development still have a long way to go. Choosing to be sustainable goes back to planning, where all the aspect of the building is considered. When the vision for the future is clear, urban design will manifest through eco-efficient development.

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The Big Sell: Experts Share Pitching Advice

Monday.

Another day at UP Ayala Technohub, slaving for 8 hours. You have an idea brewing in your head. You also have a plan to improve your group’s communication system and project management style. But these powerful ideas or well-kept backup plans are just in your head, and won’t matter unless you share it with the group; most importantly, to your superior. Until then, it will just be a plan or idea that won’t be making the changes you envision for the company.

The aim is to have their approval. To hear that sweet sounding yes is a melody to the ears, which makes you fly high in the sky even if it means being buried in paperwork. Before that, you have to face your boss, the management or whoever it is you have to talk with to settle the proposal. Sometimes, it only takes one chance for the person or committees to decide your faith, so it’s better to ace it on the first try.

Few experts had a say on how to successfully present a pitch to a challenging audience. To show off your ideas without a hinge, read on to find what the experts had to say to amp your presentation.

John Rood of Next Step Test Preparation

John Rood suggests to lay out how management should judge the project’s success quickly. What are the indicators that the project will be a success? Having a specific goal will help you set measures of success or key performance indicators (KPIs) early on. Step-wise goals or buildable goals are easier to digest than having a long-term goal. It also suggests that fewer risks are involved. Thus management is more accepting of the idea.

To reduce the risk of rejection, form alliances with those in the upper levels of the company who will approve the pitch. Test out the waters, talk with them to see what clicks and what doesn’t.  It will also help you improve and expand your idea. There will be instances when they will see the details you may have overlooked. The more feedback you get on your pitch, the better you can prepare for the actual and formal meeting.

Phil Chen of Systems Watch

It’s not enough to just have the proposal ready; it’s also important to prove you can handle it. They want to see a work ethic that can sustain the onset of the project throughout its growth. You have to show redeeming qualities – agility, thoughtfulness, and efficiency.

Remember that you still have current task and projects. Phil Chen advises preparing an outline that illustrates the order of your priorities. It will show you still have the time and resources to lead a new project. The outline is especially useful if you haven’t proven your leadership potential.

Brian Honigman of BrianHonigman.com

Brian Honigman shares a piece of advice that isn’t often followed. Composing a polished plan shows the time a thought invested in it. It also shows you’ve reviewed potential problems along the way. It suggests you can take charge and lead the project which will help convince the management of the proposal.

Kenny Nguyen of Big Fish Presentations

As much enthusiasm you show when presenting the project, prepare to defend your idea when objections arise. Being able to justify your proposal is particularly useful when negotiating with investors. You should not be swayed by counter-arguments no matter how logical they may seem. Withstand the onslaught of questions and prepare a counter-attack.

Thus, when answering the management or investors’ queries, pay attention to the current inquiry only. Give a simple and straightforward answer. Avoid getting thrown off your train of thought by overthinking the panel’s questions.

Jyot Singh of RTS Labs

The benefits of the pitch should be clear – how will it add value to the company. Jyot Singh says the presentation should be directed to those benefits and the ways how it will be utilized by the audience of your presentation.

A presentation that states the advantages of the projects creates a positive mindset over the project proposal. With that, keep your winning statement simple.

Adam Stillman of SparkReel

Of course, create visual aids. Adam Stillman knows the importance of visual aids. Visuals are powerful; they help make the plan seem real and relatable. Visual aids also hold power regarding communication as the information comes much faster and lingers in the form of memory.

When creating visuals, concentrate on the essentials. If it allows you to explain the project, return on investment and growth strategy for five minutes, then you’re good to go.

These experts know what they’re talking about, and you should too. When proposing an idea to top-level management, remember to account for risks. The less risk involves, the higher the chance to get their approval. A clear-cut and carefully constructed plan will cover the basics. No matter how polished the proposal is, there will be details which aren’t acceptable to the audience. Hence, prepare to defend your ideas during the presentation. It means you can handle it the pressure and sustain the project.

A Guide to Suburban Neighborhood in the South

There’s a sprouting suburb in the South, and you don’t know if moving there is a good move.

Vermosa is a suburban development that features active living. It’s in Cavite, and it perfectly combines residences, retail spots and business hubs in one area, which make it seem like a good place to settle down. But hold your train of thought. Did you consider what you need to know before buying a house? Do you know what kind of neighborhood will be at Vermosa?

Before setting your sights on this new development, read on to find out the standards of what makes a good neighborhood.

There are street walks.

And those streetwalkers are for walking.

Some residential communities are disorderly, so cyclists pass through pavements instead. A neighborhood with functional road walks prioritizes walking over the use of vehicles. Low-carbon communities have sidewalks wide enough for bicycles and establishments. It gives the cafés liberty to set up tables for outdoor lounging.

A spacious sidewalk also gives room to set up benches – a great feature for relaxation and people watching.

 

There are various transportation modes.

What a nice feeling to have when travel from work to home is a breeze. Often, an exclusive neighborhood isn’t commute-friendly and is only accessible through private vehicles. An ideal community should be available through different road networks. You can get to Vermosa via Daang Hari Road, SLEX through the MCX exit, and the upcoming Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Road – which are also the routes of public transportation. The proposed LRT 6 will pass through Daang Hari Road which makes Vermosa accessible to the bulk of passengers. The community is also less than an hour away from Makati, Manila, Muntinlupa, and Tagaytay.

 

There is a foundation for education.

De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ), a member of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), is an established educational institution in the South. It will open its second campus in Vermosa to provide quality basic and secondary education. DLSZ is also an establishment that pronounces spiritual and moral maturity through the teachings of Christ.

The DLSZ-Vermosa Campus will implement the Next Generation Blended Learning Program which will include the latest trend and innovation regarding teaching strategies and educational research.

 

There are high-value residences.

Property value varies greatly from one development to another. A neighborhood with quality housing options allows people with the different financial capability to lead a quiet and comfortable life. When there are lots of people are waitlisted, it is a sign that the particular neighboorhood is hot on the market.

Vermosa will have diverse living options with Ayala Land’s urban residential developers – Alveo, Avida, and Ayala Land Premier. Alveo offers upscale residences while Avida is perfect for compact city living.

Since Vermosa is a new community, most of the people in the neighborhood are homeowners. An area with high rate of homeownership is stable. Renters are mobile and flaky, so they don’t add value to the community. Long-time residents have been there all way. They watch out for their neighbors, which makes the area feel safe and secure.

 

There are communal facilities.

 

Vermosa has a total of 165 hectares of open space for wellness and recreation, training facilities, and retail shops.

There’s Vermosa Sports and Lifestyle Complex which will have an Olympic-sized pool, a 400-meter track oval, and a Sports Science laboratory that caters to all the training needs of endurance athletes. The MX Track and the Bike Skills Park offer a place to fill the need for speed and thrills for bikers.

There’s Vermosa Midtown, a pedestrian-focused, bike-friendly area with a commercial district. The Ayala Malls Vermosa will be within the limits of Midtown and will complement the active life of Vermosa by housing sports-themed retail stores.

A contemporary active living is kept alive in Vermosa with its engaging facilities for its residents. Besides these amenities, a balanced community should have a place of worship. It shows the collective and strength of the community.

There should be a hospital, police and fire station.

Safety first.

The right neighborhood adds value to the entire community, not just to the houses separately. You can check out if the community is fit for you if it has the qualities on this list besides the things that you want. Your new neighborhood should meet your standards and if you’ve found it in Vermosa, then go ahead. Enjoy the fulfilling life of active lifestyle.