SAN Miguel Corp. (SMC) said on Tuesday that its Bulacan airport city may include an innovation hub where schools and technology-driven companies can thrive.

In an e-mailed statement, the company said its president, Ramon S. Ang, and Felino A. Palafox, Jr., Palafox Associates principal architect-urban planner and founder, are looking to include an innovation hub in the project.

“As such, [Mr.] Palafox has put forth a ‘town and gown’ or university town concept, where learning institutions and the community partner together, such as in Cambridge and Boston in the United States, where Harvard University is,” the conglomerate said.

“SMC is also looking to put up a medical and research facility along with the school,” it noted. The “project will be equipped with the latest in digital infrastructure to enable people to work and conduct business anywhere.”

The company tapped Palafox Associates to help plan its “aerocity” — an airport plus city concept — as an add-on to its P740-billion airport project.

“I’m aligned with the mission, vision and goal of [Mr.] Ang. He invited me to partner with him in this new undertaking: a green aerotropolis. At Palafox, we’ve analyzed that we need at least 100 new cities all over the Philippines by 2050,” Mr. Palafox said.

“If we don’t do it, our cities will become as bad, if not worse than Metro Manila. We envision the Bulacan Aerocity development as the first model and pacesetter for future green and sustainable cities in the country,” he added.

SMC’s Bulacan airport project has yet to break ground, but work is already progressing, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said in June. — Arjay L. Balinbin