Category 5 Super Typhoon Haiyan

(local name Yolanda) left

1.9 million homeless,

more than 6 million displaced,

and more than 6,000 dead

in Tacloban City, Philippines.

Ninety percent of the city’s structures are either destroyed or damaged.


We have organized the Leapfrog Project as an avenue to help the Philippines rebuild with new-found resilience. Our initiative is an effort of balanced collaboration with Filipinos that moves away from acts of imposition. By directly including the locals in a hands-on capacity, we become true supporters to them as they rebuild the Philippines. We see it as an opportunity to help transform and be transformed by the experience.


It’s an effort to leapfrog into innovation for sustainable development that engages different schools of thought in design, science, business, and technology.

It’s a contribution

towards a more caring, charitable, and

vitality-enhancing experience and

cultivation of a generative space

that allows them to flourish

in their current and future endeavor.


The collaborative activity will accommodate the most forward-thinking minds in the field of sustainable built environment and practitioners within the broad range of socio-economic development sectors. It will not be incorporating just one exclusive paradigm but a consideration of brilliant ideas that will be found most appropriate and supportive of the achievement of the project goal. But basically, the intervention "centers on the concept that it could potentially be possible to create a blueprint for a metropolis with embedded resilience to extreme geological and meteorological events

(Bionic City®, 2010)”.


Rebuilding after a catastrophic event is a complex task. This is simply not a territory of limited disciplines. There is need to rally a wide range of expertise, resources, and courses of actions from many fields of practice. Among these, the role of the built-environment practitioners is paramount. Various sectors in this field, together with those from other disciplines, shall help one another in strategizing the rebuilding program on the ground. This can enable the most sensible actions to take place and therefore avoid the failures of similar post-disaster rehabilitation efforts in the past, such as in Haiti.

(Ben Smilowitz, 2010)