Monday, July 11, 2016

All-Weather Urban Corridors for Clark and Angeles City

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Ever worried about your car stalling in knee-deep floods? Or missing your flight due to impassable roads? A new study for Angeles City and the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga aims to ensure that the flow of goods, services and people remain undisrupted by assessing the vulnerability of roads to temperature increases and floods and identifying ‘All-Weather Urban Corridors.’

An All-Weather Urban Corridor is a network of roads with the ability to withstand the effects of extreme weather conditions, coupled with good drainage systems, which allow the safe passage of vehicles.

Over 70 leaders converged at the Clark Freeport Zone’s Widus Hotel for the final presentation of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC) for their ‘All-Weather Urban Corridors’ project.

Though both Angeles City and the Clark Freeport Zone are historically free from severe inundation, they are still occasionally susceptible to light flooding as both are located in a Type-1 climate zone, making them vulnerable to the southwest monsoon’s rains. Though many of the areas’ roads can be considered ‘All-Weather’ – climate change effects like intense heat and excessive rainfall can still render some road sections vulnerable. Assessing and identifying roads for improvement within Angeles City and the Clark Freeport Zone will enable both hubs to be better prepared in light of climate change.

The study examined the two sites’ road infrastructure, flood history, plus the drainage efficiency for local canals and culverts. Among the proposed solutions were to look into the suitability of infrastructure materials and design as these are affected by climate change factors.

“We found that beyond just elevating roads, the design and maintenance of drainage systems as well as the road segments themselves, for both the Clark Freeport Zone and Angeles City should be a priority. We know that even clogged drains can contribute as much to the inaccessibility of roads as heavy rain. With climate change, our road and transportation infrastructure shall feel stronger and more significant impacts. This study ensures a smooth drive for all people traveling within Angeles City,” explains WWF-Philippines CEO Joel Palma.

As Metro Manila’s development pushes ever outwards, strategically-located hubs like the Clark Freeport Zone and Angeles City shall absorb the influx of businesses, industries and residents who shall seek less congested cities to live and operate in. New ‘all-weather urban corridors’ will ensure that access to these areas will be partially shielded from climate change.

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