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Asia Insight

Cities after COVID: How Manila and others can 'build back better'

For Asian metropolises, crisis offers chance to emerge cleaner, greener and safer

SANDY ONG, Contributing writer | Singapore

SINGAPORE -- In the pre-pandemic world, the most stressful parts of Janica Solis' day often had little to do with her job at an education tech startup in the Philippines. Rather, it was the journey to and from work that really wore her down.

Her morning commute through Metro Manila comprised a long jeepney ride that made the 28-year-old feel "hot and cramped like a sardine." Traveling home involved a half-hour walk to the train station, followed by a bus and two auto-rickshaw rides. Solis would spend an hour and a half to two hours traveling each way -- an absurd amount of time to traverse a mere 7 km.

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