The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philippines council was recently awarded an Urban Innovation Grant for its project, “A Resilient and Healthy BGC”. Their initiative aims to promote and endorse the responsibility of land in building healthy and thriving communities.
ULI Philippines, along with the Bonifacio Global City Estate Association (BGCEA), introduced the pioneer project to the various stakeholders in BGC – residents, retail, and office community – through a two-day event filled with food, art, and fitness extravaganza called “Summer in the Park”. The event occurred on March 6th and 7th 2015 in several areas near BGC’s De Jesus Oval and Kasalikasan Garden amphitheatre with several activities that promoted community, arts, health, and resiliency.
According to ULI Philippines’ Chairman and Global Trustee Charlie Rufino, over 2000 people attended the Summer in the Park launching of the ‘Resilient and Healthy BGC initiative.’ “Including local industry experts, public officials, business leaders, and community residents”, Rufino said.
Also at the festival, ULI Philippines in partnership with the Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation’s Board of Directors unveiled their proposal for the Bonifacio Greenway/Linear Park, a 0.9-mile (1.5 km) greenway. The city’s “Powerline to Lifeline” is a green walkway stretching along Bonifacio Center district that would serve as both a recreation area for exercise and an evacuation route during a typhoon or other natural disaster. The project already received an initial round of funding from various corporate sponsors.
On the festival’s first day, the community was presented with a wide selection of food from the city’s best restaurants. Chefs from Vask, Rocket Room, Wildflour Bakery, Las Flores, Tipple & Slaw, B&T Mexican Kitchen, Patricio’s, Crisp on 28th, and many other establishments took part in the festivities – presenting guests with their delectable cuisines. And while the food fair was already in full swing, a Health and Wellness talk led by Sanaiyah Gurnamal of Third Eye Wellness was happening – encouraging the community to partake in activities that tend to both their physical and spiritual wellness.
Corporate Scavenger Hunt for Disaster Preparedness
Several activities were lined up to further the participation of the BGC Community. While others were busy nibbling on local food, some residents and workers had a chance to participate in a disaster preparedness scavenger hunt and simulation exercise where they identified important landmarks and evacuation areas throughout the city. ULI Philippines organized the hunt to advocate the community’s disaster and evacuation plan during a time of crisis. Daiichi Properties Inc. was part of the 20 teams that joined the hunt. Joining Daiichi were representatives from Accra, The World Bank, Google, HSBC, The Net Group, JP Morgan and Chase Co., RCBC, and TV5’s disaster team. The teams were instructed to identify the major support areas inside Bonifacio Global City and pass by each one of them to earn points and reach the top of the rankings. There were 7 key areas they had to find that were strategically located to provide shelter, information, and support in the case of a disaster.
Each team was composed of four members that had to be prepared for to face strategically constructed physical and mental challenges. The Daiichi Team had a strong footing because of their familiarity of the neighbourhood – with Daiichi Properties’ major developments being located all around BGC. The team started strong by identifying all the major evacuation gates and areas, showing resiliency and resourcefulness during the toughest part of the race.
One of the company’s guiding principles and a big reason of its participation in the race is its belief in the importance of “Balance and Community Engagement”. Daiichi Properties values and upholds quality in all their developments, participating in efforts that promote health and resiliency to employees and the overall community is a part of that. Daiichi Properties embraces its responsibility as a developer on the safety and health of each member of the community. “By participating in this initiative and its future efforts, we help in the establishment of the city’s plan for a well prepared, healthy and strong community during critical times.” Eric Manuel, Daiichi Properties VP – Business Development, said.
Charlie Rufino reiterated to Daiichi Properties and other stakeholders that in this important initiative in preparedness, “we recognize our partnership with your team, is vital to the success of our community’s cause and mission. Each one of us has a special role to play in this community and your team at the forefront of helping fulfill this mission in building a resilient and healthy Bonifacio Global City.”
The festival’s last day started out with yoga and Zumba classes for all ages. Much like the day before it, the rest of the day was filled with food extravaganzas, a resiliency exhibit, CrossFit classes, and disaster preparedness talks. The fun-filled festival closed with a wonderful production of “Into the Woods” by Upstart Productions.
The “Summer in the Park” festival served as the first of several community engagement events that ULI Philippines intends to host over the project’s two-year timeline.
The Urban Land Institute is an independent global non-profit supported by members representing the entire spectrum of real estate development and land use disciplines. ULI Philippines provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities in the country. Daiichi Properties is a proud member of the organization.