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A-Live: Accelerated Large Infrastructure Viability Experiments

2023-24, sem. 1 and 2
Tutor: Bruno Peeters

A-LIVE: Accelerated Large Infrastructure Viability Experiments

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Manila North-South Commuter Railway Extension Transit Oriented Development

Currently under construction, the 140km long elevated Manila North-South Commuter Railway Extension, (NSCR-Ex) Project will enable mass transit services in the Manila National Capital Region (NCR)—all the way from Clark International Airport in the North to Calamba in the South.


Counting 40 stations, the NSCR-Ex line is integrated with the NCR public transit system and passengers may transfer between multiple urban rail transit services, including LRT Line 1, 2, 3 and 7 and PNR Metro Line and future Makati-Intra Subway and MRT Lines 4 & 8. Locally, passengers will connect through various transport modes including buses, (shared) taxis, `Jeepneys`, shared cars, motorcycles, tricycles, bicycles and on foot.

The A-LIVE design studio will explore 6 selected NSCR-Ex stations` potentials for a `Transit Oriented Development` (TOD), creating compact walkable mixed-use local communities seamlessly connected to the wider NSCR. Selected TOD sites feature a wide variety of property structures, and each station site represents distinct urban characteristics ranging from CBD, medium density, peripheral sprawl and green- fields.

Selected stations:

  1. Angeles
  2. Calumpit
  3. Blumentritt
  4. Buendia
  5. Bicutan
  6. Muntinlupa

Students will explore TOD potentials using two distinct `tracks`;

Less is More; investigates successful European inner-city TOD developments, urban morphology, and squares` applicability to local Manila contexts.

Mess is More; from a different angle, a `Mess is More` approach will dig into Tokyo`s most vibrant TOD examples weaving and snaking TODs into existing urban fabric.

Design output may entail one or two of the following foci:

  • Mapping and defining TOD challenges within the specific context of Metro Manila, in particular lack of equity, access to decent housing, mobility, climate change, local invested communities, and corporate urban development.
  • Integrated architectural and urban design solutions, including critical aspects of transport planning, city revitalization, inclusion, real-estate development and (sub)urban (greenfield) satellite towns.
  • Investigating and defining local or relocation socialized housing solutions for informal settlers from a local and global perspective, applying land re-adjustment or other specific planning tools taking into consideration the Philippines` Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DSHUD) policies.


  • Oriental Consult Global (OCG) & Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • Available materials*: Station (digital) plans, station areas` GIS, various digital datasets, Master & District Plans, Traffic Study, Socio-Economic & Real Estate study and various technical reports.
  • Site visit optional and at students` own expense.

(*) Individual (per student) OCG Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) Required.