Transforming Metro Manila into a sustainable city

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2017 08:17 PM | Updated as of Oct 04 2017 04:07 PM

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Transforming Metro Manila into a successful and sustainable city goes beyond the financial environment and extends to ensuring that the metro will be socially sustainable as well.

Sean Chiao, president of American engineering firm AECOM, said one way for Manila to be able to accommodate urban growth is through reclamation of the Manila Bay which has to be done very carefully.

“I think reclamation is one way to create income for the government or accommodate the urban growth, but you have to do it very carefully with a very, very clear strategy to create interest for the general public, not only for specific developers,” he said on ANC’s “Headstart.”

“You have to have a very clear strategy. What is that for, how do you position this new reclamation?” he added.

Asia Society Philippines Chair Doris Magsaysay-Ho added that the government should work on improving the infrastructure and public transportation system in the metro to boost sustainability.

She explained that Manila is rich in historical assets that can be used to promote it as one of the best waterfront cities.

“Manila has several assets. One is historical. We have history, we have the Rizal Park, we have the waterfront, we have Intramuros and we have Chinatown,” she said.

“We also have something amazing. We have an LRT. To walk from the LRT to the water, that's a 10-block walk in New York City…It's all there. You also have all the schools,” she added.

Chiao said despite working on improving the sustainability of the metro, the government should still remain committed to the historical waterfront of Manila.

“The other part is I think for Manila, we have to be very, very committed to the historical waterfront. From the Cultural Center all the way to the Rizal Park, that is really Manila's or the Philippines' identity,” he said.

“You really have to pay attention, to celebrate it, to regenerate it with very careful planning and have that connected back to the city and so people will have easy access to celebrate the urban life by the water,” he added.

ANC Headstart, March 31, 2017