Future development will be in Cebu's south as north is congested-A A +A
Saturday, September 7, 2013
AN INTERNATIONAL architect observed that future development in Cebu will be mostly in the south.
Architect Jun Palafox, founder of architectural and urban planning firm Palafox Associates, spoke about Metro Cebu land use plans during a forum organized by the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board.
He said that in the 1980s, development was foreseen to be in the Mandaue-Banilad-Talamban triangle.
“But this triangle has become congested and the flooding (problem) has not been addressed,” said Palafox. “I saw the potential of going south, especially since the land values in the north are getting high.”
He said that after visiting Minglanilla, he saw the South Road Properties (SRP). It is opening up potential for development in the south,” he said during the forum cum harmonization workshop held at the University of San Carlos College of Architecture and Fine Arts.
Palafox, who designed the Cebu Business Park, noted that Barangay Pardo, Talisay City and the Municipality of Minglanilla have potential for further growth.
It is unhealthy, he said, to have a richer north and a poorer south.
Palafox said drainage and flood control projects should be considered investments so they should not be subjected to political bickering.
The Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) of Cebu City earlier said solutions to the drainage problem will cost P2.6 billion to implement in three years.
“For every P1 invested to make a place flood-free, the return could be P15,” said Palafox.
Palafox said he believes that Cebu would be a better venue for the major meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in 2015.
Cebu has been included as venue for minor Apec meetings in 2015 but the meeting of the heads of states will be in Manila.
“Cebu has the greatest potential, especially after the recent flooding in Manila. I would not be surprised if Manila becomes a back-up venue for Cebu,” said Palafox.
In his presentation, which focused on urban development, Palafox said the best cities in the world practiced vertical urbanism instead of urban sprawl.
But Cebu and the entire country, he said, practiced urban sprawl, repeating the 60-year-old mistake of Los Angeles City in the United States.
The best cities, he said, should be “walkable, bikeable and livable.”
Fortunato Sanchez of the Movement for Livable Cebu said it is hard to get permission from gated communities or exclusive subdivisions to open access roads in the metropolis.
Cebu City is an example of how urban sprawl works. The urban center is “strangulated” by gated communities.
Palafox said vertical development, involving the construction of mixed use high-rise buildings, should be the trend because this means more people benefit for every hectare of land.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 07, 2013.