PRO-ENVIRONMENT advocates reminded Davao City planners that a proposed strategy to encourage more high-rise buildings must be sustainable.
Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) managing trustee Mary Ann Fuertes said the plan of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) to “go high-rise” to save space and address densification is not enough as more problems may appear later if environmental concerns are not addressed.
"There are of course negative and positive sides to this," she said.
She said maximizing space in the urban areas of the city is good. However, she emphasized the need to ensure that high-rise buildings must be green or environment-friendly, must have stable foundation, and must be located far from fault lines and other geologic hazards.
To be considered a “green” development, Fuertes said a building should be energy efficient, which include the light and ventilation; uses permeable pavement and parking space; and integrates use of rainwater.
"Are we prepared for the additional wastes? Solid and gray water? Do these high rise buildings have own waste water treatment or connected to centralized sewerage system of the City? Otherwise, gray water will just end up in our drainage canal leading to Davao Gulf," Fuertes said.
"Are we ready for the congestion in the downtown area because it is where they are concentrated right now and we expect more people," she added.
Earlier, CPDO head Ivan Cortez said they are pushing for more high-rise projects in the city to reserve land for agriculture and forests.
"In urban planning per se, we are already moving towards having policies that will improve density patterns. Ibig sabihin, densification of the urban areas para wala kaayo stresses to the reserved areas for agriculture and forests," Cortez said.
"We now go high-rise, if it's possible. We go high-rise instead of sprawling to reserve other areas," he added.