Saturday, March 20, 2010

'Manila needs redesigning to survive climate change'

Philippine Star: Metro Manila needs to be reengineered to survive climate change. This was stressed by Sen. Edgardo Angara during the opening of an international conference on climate change titled “Engineering Resilience: Confronting Risks Beyond Adaptation” at Hotel Sofitel, Pasay City.Angara, chairman of the congressional commission on science and technology, and engineering (Comste) which sponsored the gathering of local and foreign scientists, said the redesign of Metro Manila can serve as blueprint for other places in the country also threatened by climate change.

He said the conference held early this week is “not just how to rebuild Metro Manila but also how to build cities that are sustainable, livable, environmentally friendly, and can cope with disasters that appear to be a regular feature of our daily existence.” He said strong earthquakes have been frequent recently, like those that struck Haiti, Chile, Turkey and Indonesia.

He also noted that Metro Manila and others like Laguna and Nueva Ecija came under water all at the same time from the incessant raining by typhoons “Pepeng” and “Ondoy” last October and September, respectively. Scientists have stressed that climate change will cause extreme weather conditions, like stronger typhoons.

Angara said the massive flooding showed the unpreparedness and vulnerability of a mega city like Metro Manila as well as the government and the society, in general, in coping with calamities. He said disasters are not unavoidable as there are new designs and new technologies that can help Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and other places in the country cope up with natural disasters.

“We can do many things about it (calamities), not just engineering intervention but also good thinking – design thinking,” he said. “As many of the advanced architects and designers have said, design can make a big difference,” he said. “We need the advice of experts who studied this subject not just academically but seen it first- hand and tell us what are the best practices we can adopt here.”…

An 1851 map of Manila

1 comment:

Chris said...

Yep, I'm a proponent of master planning myself. I've felt that way about Manila for a while now. Like nothing short of rebuilding it village by village would provide the city with a semblance of order.