HomeBusinessMercedes - Culianan - New Town Development

Mercedes - Culianan - New Town Development



                       Mercedes - Culianan - New Town Development


 

Brief  Description

            Mercedes, identified as a secondary growth center and host of the proposed New International Airport under the Master Development Plan, is located in the east coast of the city and about 12.75 kilometers or 20 minutes ride from the Central Business District (CBD). Its entire land area is generally flat with slope from zero to three percent (0-3%), more or less 1,288 hectares in area, 636 hectares of which form part of the greater area Balinsungay Irrigated Rice Fields, one of the rice granaries in the city. Likewise, although even in the old zoning ordinance of the city, Mercedes fell within the commercial and residential zones, variety of fruit trees, especially mangoes, coconuts and bananas, still abound the area. Even century trees still stand in Mercedes. Several poultry farms also exist in the area. Its coastal area covers with either fishponds or mangroves.

                The barangay has a projected population of 8,064 for the year 2005. Majority of them or around 43% are still in the working age, around 37% are of school age, and around 13% are within the ages zero to five, while around 8% are elderly people. From these figures, around 58% of the population is therefore actually age dependent, which rather inflict a heavy burden on the working group employed in the government or private sectors, fisher folks, farmers, and carpenters.

                Generally, the social infrastructure support/facilities and services in the area are already present in the barangay or the residents thereat can easily have access to these, being just adjacent to the national highway, except in the interior parts where no road traverses. Its present development pattern is that of a grid development with parallel and intersecting streets but with irregular rectangular blocks. Radial roads also fan out from Mercedes, providing access to its neighboring barangays, especially barangays Talabaan and Taluksangay, which have no direct access to the national highway.

                Culianan is one of the barangays adjacent to Mercedes in the north and along the highway. It has a smaller land area of 869.7917 hectares and a projected population of 6,508 in year 2005 and with an almost similar present pattern of development. Because of the very much-improved national highway, the area of Culianan along the highway, however, suddenly boomed with commercial activities. In the formulation of the spatial development of this growth center, consider the developments that occurred in this area or what probable market forces drove this area to develop.

Proposed Spatial Development of Mercedes-Culianan

            With congestion and other rising urban problems, the city’s development expansion is more towards the east coast.  Mercedes, as the identified host for the new international airport in the east, is expected to develop and later spread out development to other adjacent areas. As it is, even with the newly concreted national highway only, the area along barangay Culianan, adjacent to Mercedes, as above-mentioned, suddenly boomed with commercial activities.
               
                In anticipation of this development, the New Zoning Ordinance, classified 500 meters on both sides of the national highway that traverses through barangays Mercedes and Culianan, up to the rice fields, and further maintained the area from Calle Real to Calle Socorro towards the inner portion of Mercedes up to Calle Arcillas as Commercial Zones. This can extend downward south until the proposed site of the new international airport.

                There are various existing institutional structures scattered all over Mercedes. However, the whole block at the eastern side of Calle Socorro towards the rice fields and between Calle Real down to the proposed airport site, will be the Institutional Zone, in as much as the New Barangay Hall, the Mercedes Central School, a chapel and an old cemetery are already located here. Further, many of the existing institutional structures located within the Commercial Zone are just on the opposite side of Calle Socorro and along Calle Real, which in most probability will maintain their locations thereat. These include the national high school, the catholic and evangelical churches, the health center and the Alliance cemetery. The old Barangay Hall and the Rural Water System Office also located adjacent to the Catholic Church may in the future be converted into some other service facilities for a park that may be centrally located in this still vast area of open space and where many old acacia trees still stand abundantly.

                The upper block of this Institutional Zone at Calle Socorro, until Culianan up to the rice fields and excluding the Commercial Zone along the national highway, shall be a Residential Zone as well as the areas on both sides of the highway after the 500 meters commercial zone as delineated under the zoning ordinance. The Mulu-Muluan area will remain as a Residential Zone. However, existing government facilities and services thereat, especially health and sanitation, needs further improvement. The western part of Mercedes and the area of Zambowood, almost built up with residential subdivision projects, shall also maintain its Residential Zone classification except that portion of Zambowood which under the new zoning ordinance is classified as an Industrial Zone.

                The plan of the city government to construct a modern bus terminal for buses plying in and out of the city may be located in this Growth Center, most probably between Asinan Road and the old national highway. However, the probable sites are still under negotiations. Ideally, for this terminal to maintain a smooth flow of traffic, it should be within a circumferential road with separate ingress and egress. Presently there is an existing road within this area, but this has to be widened and improved. Actually, the entire road network of the city will have to establish effective and efficient linkages with this growth area, especially considering that this will be the future international airport site. The Master Development Plan (MDP) of the city already proposed a
Bypass Road from Patalon to Culianan to link this growth area to the west.

                The developments occurring in Culianan, on the other hand, did not just happen because of the expansion and concreting of the national highway. The expansion project of the national highway only provided a bigger capital for the landowners along that area and an opportunity to improve their respective place of business. Culianan is actually a crossroads of around six hinterland barangays that transport their agricultural products and other rural resources down here. A “Bagsakan Center”, with complete facilities, can be integrated in the proposed terminal in this growth area where they can directly bring their products and encourage them further, to increase production. Likewise, consider improving the road that leads to inner western part of Culianan and serves as the only access of these rural people to basic services and facilities, and the possibility of providing other vertical access. The vertical access is a very important alternative route, because in case of road blockage, a number of barangays dependent solely on this road will be affected and their agricultural produce will perish.
  
                Maintain also all delineated irrigated rice fields and fishpond areas under the zoning ordinance and within this growth center.  


Proposed Development Strategy

            Although, Mercedes is already within the coverage of the urban land area classification, as described earlier, it was rather lagging behind especially in terms of commercial development. However, in recent years the urban sprawl is starting to catch up in this eastern part of the city, which somehow must be contained and controlled, in order to maximize to the best use of our land resources over time and space. Thus, the idea of developing a New Town in town emerged.

                The concept of New Town, in this case, however, is not the traditional one. That is, an area developed solely as an isolated or satellite community meant to be as self-sufficient as any other city. Rather, in this case, this area will be an integral part of the large urban area or built up area, wherein new major developments will be primarily directed towards this area and the emerging urban spatial pattern is less difficult to regulate and control. Nevertheless, the entire idea is still to decongest the existing CBD and identify an area for expansion where provisions for housing, employment, shopping, education, and recreation and socio-cultural and other services normally associated with a town are possible.

                However, the end-result of this concept goes far beyond the spatial disposition only, since the modification of the physical character of the area must consider a variety of cultural, social, economic, and political objectives as well. Most of all, it being a component of a larger urban and even regional area, it will affect among others, transit facilities, water resources and our natural environment

                Further, in creating new towns, the processes are significantly complex for this will require abundant financial and managerial resources, legislative and political support and many years in completion. It has a macro-approach to development yet must be more inclusive and specific as to location, character and size. Therefore, the costs and benefits, the scheduling or phasing of activities to implement such plan, the necessary managerial procedures and the manner in monitoring and implementing the plan must all be clearly established. The same shall be true in the process of developing Mercedes as a growth center and its particular role in the over-all development

Although, Mercedes is already within the coverage of the urban land area classification, as described earlier, it was rather lagging behind especially in terms of commercial development. However, in recent years the urban sprawl is starting to catch up in this eastern part of the city, which somehow must be contained and controlled, in order to maximize to the best use of our land resources over time and space. Thus, the idea of developing a in town emerged.
Although, Mercedes is already within the coverage of the urban land area classification, as described earlier, it was rather lagging behind especially in terms of commercial development. However, in recent years the urban sprawl is starting to catch up in this eastern part of the city, which somehow must be contained and controlled, in order to maximize to the best use of our land resources over time and space. Thus, the idea of developing a in town emerged.
Although, Mercedes is already within the coverage of the urban land area classification, as described earlier, it was rather lagging behind especially in terms of commercial development. However, in recent years the urban sprawl is starting to catch up in this eastern part of the city, which somehow must be contained and controlled, in order to maximize to the best use of our land resources over time and space. Thus, the idea of developing a in town emerged.
Mercedes, identified as a secondary growth center and host of the proposed New International Airport under the Master Development Plan, is located in the east coast of the city and about 12.75 kilometers or 20 minutes ride from the Central Business District (CBD). Its entire land area is generally flat with slope from zero to three percent (0-3%), more or less 1,288 hectares in area, 636 hectares of which form part of the greater area Balinsungay Irrigated Rice Fields, one of the rice granaries in the city. Likewise, although even in the old zoning ordinance of the city, Mercedes fell within the commercial and residential zones, variety of fruit trees, especially mangoes, coconuts and bananas, still abound the area. Even century trees still stand in Mercedes. Several poultry farms also exist in the area. Its coastal area covers with either fishponds or mangroves.