Manila, capital city of the Philippines, is one of the most disaster-prone, most polluted and congested places on Earth. The whole country is no stranger to typhoons, tsunamis, volcanic activity, catastrophic flooding, extreme heat, rainfall-induced landslides, wildfires and earthquakes. That is the official reason why the Philippine government has decided to work on a new capital city, allocated 100 km north of Manila in the former US military base. New Clark City - which is envisioned to be the "first smart, green, and resilient metropolis in the region" is expected to be completed by the end of president Rodrigo Duterte's term in 2022 and would cost 14 bln$.
But is it really possible to build an alternative capital city to the existing one? Would it really help the inhabitants of Manila? Who is the true beneficiary of such investments? Citizens, politicians or business investors? What about the indigenous people living already there? And, finally, is it possible at all to escape from the effects of climate change and constant pollution? What is the most likely future of all nations mostly prone to natural disasters? Being, in the matter of fact, the passive victims of the harmful activities of polluters on other parts of the globe...
Magdalena Krukowska, Forbes journalist, scientist, photographer and author of video reportages (Mantra of Bhutan, Shule Bora, War on war minerals) published on Forbes.pl, VOD.pl and TVN24. An author of articles and books on globalization, social responsibility of business and global problems related to sustainable development. Postdoc fellow of Bernheim Foundation in Brussels and Japan Foundation.