Sustainable urban development in Philippines through Shelter mission

30 April 2016

Silay in the Philippines is dealing with major urban development issues and flood risks. Therefore, from April 2 until April 7, a Shelter mission to Silay has taken place.

One of the participants, Derjan Welleweerd, Urban Water Specialist from ARCADIS Netherlands, explains: ‘’Silay is dealing with rapid economic growth and has big plans for urban expansion. UN-Habitat is currently carrying out a project called “Achieving Sustainable Urban Development (ASUD) in Silay, a worldwide program focusing on innovative approaches to the challenges of urbanization in cities with rapid economic growth. The Arcadis Shelter program supported the ASUD project by mobilizing experts (urban, water specialists and advisors for public infrastructure) providing technical support to UN-Habitat Philippines in improving the Planned City Extension (PCE).’’

The mission team existing of Reinero Flores (Country Programme Manager, UN Habitat), David Garcia (Urban Planner, UN Habitat), Gilia Sabanal (Principal Engineer, Arcadis Philippines) and Derjan Welleweerd focused on:

  • assessing the city’s current drainage infrastructure design and capacity;
  • assessing the city in terms of its vulnerability to flooding (rainwater);
  • providing recommendations on how to improve the drainage system of the city including specific recommendations for the planned city extension area of Silay.

Gilia Sabanal: ‘’It was great to consider the whole community of Silay to be safe when flooding occurs and be able to outline them how to mitigate flooding.’’ Welleweerd adds: ‘’The Municipality, the Province and the District all deal with the same problems: how to best achieve sustainable water management and urban development? Some parties were much further in this process than others, while they didn’t know it from each other. Communication and exchanging ideas, emerged to sustainable joint measures for the future. Communication: the solution is the same worldwide!’’

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