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Business As Usual

Helping build smarter cities of the future

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Urbanization is fast on the rise. Benefits such as increasing economic opportunities attract many people to migrate to city centers.

In fact, a report from the United Nations forecasted that more than half of the world’s 20 megacities—progressive financial and commercial centers housing over 10 million people—will emerge in Asia, including Manila, in 2025.

While urbanization may mean more pioneering developments, faster sharing of information and wealthier citizens, it could also lead to a decline in the quality of life, greater environmental degradation, increased greenhouse gas emissions, overpopulation and social stress.

This is the dichotomy that prompted Shell, a global leader in power and energy, to gather insights that may help manage urbanization and the growth of cities, as part of its vision to build a sustainable energy future for countries around the world. 

Believing in the value of partnerships, the energy company has collaborated with like-minded institutions to seek innovative methods in addressing the needs and challenges of the future. This is especially taking into account the anticipated surge in demand for resources of energy, water and food in a rapidly urbanizing world.

In the Philippines, The Mind Museum is a valued partner of Shell in its Future Worlds Project—an initiative to promote nationwide education, awareness and action in shaping the country’s cities in ways that make them more sustainable, progressive and energy efficient.

The latest achievement in this ongoing collaboration is a centerpiece exhibit dubbed “Future Cities: Planet-friendly Technologies” exhibit which now forms a major component of The Mind Museum’s Technology Gallery.

“Future Cities is in line with Shell’s belief that innovation, whether technological, systems or process, is key in powering sustainability,” explained Edgar Chua, chairman of Shell companies in the Philippines. “Cities, being the largest human habitat of the future, should therefore be an essential target of innovation. We partnered with The Mind Museum because innovation requires inspired understanding and this museum has proven itself up to this challenge of inspiring Filipinos to understand what science and engineering can do for the country, at present and in the long run.”

The large-scale exhibition showcases an imaginative rendition of a planet-friendly Filipino city with the technologies and innovative engineering necessary to make it a reality. “Perhaps a leap in imagination is required in order for us to break free from how we currently think we can design cities,” noted Manuel Blas II, head of commercial operations of Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and also managing director of Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc. (BAFI), which is the group that runs The Mind Museum.

The Future Cities is made-up of three related exhibits: a model city, Planet You and the City Quiz. The first is an expansive 3-D model of a Philippine metropolis by architect designer Job Bernardo. As a visionary spectacle of an ideal, yet achievable kind of city, major planet-friendly technologies will be featured like geothermal and hydropower plants, solar-powered infrastructure, bike lanes and a recreational park.

Also interesting components are the underground farming and an underwater metropolis powered by yet to be engineered technologies such as thermal and salinity gradients. QR codes are embedded throughout the installation which would summon a related video or information on the particular technologies used for spectators to thoroughly appreciate.

ACIRC

BONIFACIO ART FOUNDATION INC

BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY

CITIES

EDGAR CHUA

FUTURE

FUTURE CITIES

FUTURE WORLDS PROJECT

IN THE PHILIPPINES

JOB BERNARDO

MIND MUSEUM

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