Shelter mission to Manila

04 december 2014

Shelter1Global Shaper Stephan Casimiro (Generation 2014) joined the Shelter mission to Manila from November 17 – 21, 2014. Stephan and his fellow ARCADIS colleagues engaged in workshops and seminars with regional and international experts from the United Nations and the planning authorities of five Philippine cities. Josh MacPhee (RTKL) shares his experiences on these workshops in this blog. 

Over the course of several intense days of lectures, workshops and collaboration the group made positive progress resulting in promising developments in each cities development control proposals by the end of the week. In addition to myself providing urban design support I was joined by fellow Arcadian Alex Velzeboer from ARCADIS Netherlands who provided water management support and Bert Smolders as programme leader. We were also joined by a strong local ARCADIS team from Manila including Lea Joy Bacudo of Hyder and Mary Joyce Areola, Eunice Maningas and Stephan Casimiro (Global Shaper 2014) of Langdon & Seah. As a result, the workshop had the added benefit of building stronger relationships with fellow Arcadians in multiple disciplines across the globe.

Shelter2In regards to urban design there were several key issues to be addressed within each city due to the lack of development controls and design briefs at the neighbourhood and street level. As a result, the current high level zoning approach of urban control has led to fragmented developments without due regards for urban connectivity, provisions for public space, mixed uses, population density and designing with ecological systems to name but a few. Of particular interest was the issue of water management in each cities topological location. With key opportunities to design with existing water ways and utilise sustainable urban drainage systems within the urban fabric Alex and my fields of expertise were combined to provide the city with key guidelines for designing with water systems.

By the end of the week several of the key principles had evolved and were included in the cities initial development control/design brief documents. Although these will need to be further evolved in city specific technical charrettes it represented very positive progress that will hopefully put in motion the frame work to develop each city in a more socially, economically and ecologically sustainable method in keeping with the UN’s key ASUD (achieving sustainable urban development) principles. A process I feel very privileged to have been part of along with the global team of fellow ARCADIS colleagues.

Josh MacPhee, RTKL

This blog was also published on the Shelter Facebookpage