Home buyers look at many factors when they’re searching for a potential property, including price range, utilities, and accessibility to schools or workplaces. But rarely do they check if a development is environment-friendly.
Why “Green” Housing Should be Encouraged
Before we get to the Lancaster review, it’s important to emphasize why the presence of green spaces should matter in choosing an urban housing development. According to recent reports, more than 50% of the global population live in towns and cities. Urban growth in Africa and Asia is expected to widen this proportion in the future.
Locally, the proportion is about the same. Close to 45 percent of Filipinos live in the cities, according to a World Bank report in 2017. This phenomenon may trigger social instability and resource shortage in major Philippine cities, and may contribute to climate change. Thus, green spaces in urban housing balance these changes.
Environment-friendly properties should have green spaces and relevant landscaping that promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. A community built around green and clean spaces is more livable than one built on a concrete jungle. It not only benefits residents but also solves the problems of urbanization.
With urbanization finding its way to provinces outside of Metro Manila, housing developments in these provinces need to promote the concept of open spaces and greenery and integrate them into urban planning.
Lancaster New City in Cavite
In this Lancaster New City review, Real Estate Hub looks into where the urban housing development project in Cavite stands in “green” development and how it promotes the concept of environment-friendliness to its residents.
Lancaster New City Cavite is owned by the Property Company of Friends, Inc. (PRO-FRIENDS). It is one of the many ongoing PRO-FRIENDS projects in Cavite and Metro Manila. We visited the housing development in Gen. Trias, which is part of more than 1,600 hectares spanning Kawit, Imus and Gen. Trias. To date, about 10,000 home buyers have already moved in.
Lancaster Initiatives and Activities
As an urbanized residential community outside the Metro, Lancaster has launched some community projects and holds yearly events which promote environment-friendliness and living a clean, healthy lifestyle.
Go Green Lancaster Program
For one, the lush trees and bushes that line its roads and public areas are good features any housing development should have. It encourages residents to walk, bike, jog or do any physical activity without the risk of being exposed to too much heat. Kudos to the community for initiating this venture. It is an annual environmental project that involves everyone, not just the management.
The Go Green Lancaster Program is an annual Lancaster event open to all residents. During rainy months, the residents participate in a tree planting activity. The program has, so far, produced over 19,000 trees, which now beautify, energize, and purify Lancaster areas.
The program also invites residents to attend seminars and important talks about the environment and developing an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, which we think is rare for an urban residential community. Not a lot of residential communities these days have this kind of program and we think this is very laudable for Lancaster to have a project that focuses on the environment.
Of course, maintenance will be a big part of the success of the landscape. Without proper maintenance and discipline from the residents, the advantages of this Lancaster environmental project will not last.
Talks about the Environment
The Go Green Lancaster Program also offers a seasonal event where noted speakers from relevant industries and institutions come together. People are invited to attend and learn about a range of environment-related topics — from simple concepts such as waste segregation to legislation that is relevant to taking care of the environment. We talked to some of the residents who listened to the talks, and based on their separate Lancaster reviews in 2018, the residents loved what they heard.
Last October, Lancaster’s Landscape Studio Head, Mike Asinas, talked about the importance of trees in the community. He emphasized how trees not only add aesthetic value to the estate but also improve the experience of the residents.
Vice President Bert Guevara of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability and Dr. Renato Escurel of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Gen. Trias taught residents how to manage environment-friendly homes in Cavite. They gave talks on recycling and proper waste management, respectively.
Lancaster New City delivers on its promise of an open space that welcomes the benefits of oxygen-producing, heat-reducing trees. Its activity center has an open-air lobby and clubhouse inspired by the English countryside — which we are personally attracted to, as well.
The lobby is open to both residents and guests, allowing them to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and interact with each other in a comfortable place. The area surrounding the lobby was landscaped to make the activity center a healthy venue. We personally enjoyed having a view of nature while being inside a very sophisticated yet welcoming architecture.
Our Overall Thoughts and Feedback on Lancaster’s Environment
Having said all that, our overall feedback on Lancaster New City’s housing development is quite good. The fact that it’s situated in Cavite already presents a positive picture of the environment it provides residents. Being outside Metro Manila reduces the health risks that come with a highly congested, polluted city.
We think that the layout of Lancaster’s housing development reflects the eco-friendly thrust of PRO-FRIENDS developers and the Lancaster community. Trees and shrubs are part of the overall landscape throughout the community. We expect that all other projects they are undertaking will have the same environmentally sound masterplan.
For more information on Lancaster, check out our Lancaster review 2018.