The Philippines has an ambitious plan to deal with its capital's pollution woes—build an entirely new, sustainable city 75 miles from Manila.
The proposed New Clark City will be larger than Manhattan and house up to two million people, Business Insider UK reported May 9.
The project's current price tag is $14 billion, and it will be funded through private-public partnerships.
New Clark City will feature innovative green technology like electric, driverless cars and buildings designed to be energy efficient and conserve water. Two-thirds of the city's area will be devoted to farms and green spaces in an attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The New Clark City website describes it as "A destination where nature, lifestyle and business, education, and industry converge into a global city based on principles of sustainability."
The city is also designed to be resilient to disasters caused by climate change. At 184 feet above sea level, it should be largely safe from flooding. Further, the green space means that rivers have room to expand without flooding infrastructure, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported in March.
"The objective is not simply to build a disaster-resilient city, but rather a successful, innovative and economically competitive city that is also disaster-resilient," RAND Corporation researcher Benjamin Preston told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The project is being developed by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), owned by the Philippines' government, and the Singapore urban planning firm Surbana Jurong.
Surbana Jurong CEO Heang Fine Wong told CNBC that the city would act as a "twin city" to Manila.
Manila's Pasig River is so polluted that it can only support janitor fish and water lilies, according to Sciencing. Air pollution in Manila is also 70 percent higher than the World Health Organization's recommended safe levels, the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources reported.
According to the Thomson Reuters foundation, it is also one of the densest cities in the world, so experts think the construction of New Clark City will relieve pressure on the capital and allow it to focus on making itself more sustainable and resilient as well.
"(It) has the potential to take pressure off Manila so that Manila can also invest in building a more resilient future," Lauren Sorkin, director for Asia-Pacific with 100 Resilient Cities, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
According to BCDA President Vince Dizon, the government is working to develop the new city as quickly as possible while making sure it retains its green design.
"We need to strike a balance between fast-paced development that maximises value for the private sector, and protecting open spaces and making the city walkable, green and resilient," Dizon told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Currently, the BCDA is working to complete the New Clark City sports facility in time for the Philippines to host the Southeast Asian Games in 2019, breaking ground on the complex April 25, the New Clark City website reported.
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The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
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The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
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And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
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Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.