Like many Asian mega-cities, Manila is becoming both too expensive and too crowded for its residents’ liking. The city’s population has nearly doubled over the past fifteen years. Its 20 million residents currently live in some of the world’s most densely-populated suburbs, and global real estate agency Colliers estimates that land prices for prime business areas are estimated to rise 8 percent in 2015. The problem is that the city has nowhere to expand, as it currently sits between Manila Bay and the country’s largest lake, Laguna de Bay.
Now the Philippine government has announced an ambitious plan. It wants to reclaim land from Laguna de Bay and build a 47km toll road that will act as a flood barrier to protect newly built-up developments along the lakeside. The project will cost as much as US$ 2.75 billion, and would be largely financed by developers who would be given preferential access to build properties on as much as 700 hectares of reclaimed land.
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