Sustainability makes business, tourism sense

Public parks, expressly in inner-city milieus such as Cebu City, are essential preserves for home-grown inhabitants. Up till now, the problem several cities face is a deficiency of space to create them. As a consequence, some architects have been forced to reimagine the way in which flourishing green surroundings are designed in condensed cities.

One Dumaguete City–based architect is forcing the borders of how public parks should be fashioned in Covid times.

“We need to create city ‘lungs’ or urban gardens in the densest areas,” said architect Ned Carlos. The simplest way is by planting thousands of trees around the city. Greenbelts of indigenous trees planted near some of the major roads will help offset carbon dioxide emissions. In environmental terms, that translates to tons of carbon dioxide that are not fouling the atmosphere.

“We must redesign the way a city functions if we are to leave our children and grandchildren—who will be raising children of their own—a city that is functional and healthy,” he said. “Today, if there’s one thing we must always keep in mind, it is the heritage we leave our children.”

“It’s also high time for city planners and the local government to focus on safe, secure, convenient, well-managed and well-designed streets that recognize the value of short-walking trips.”

The streets of a city should be designed with consideration for the safety and maintenance of the foot traveler, the elderly and the disabled. The goal is to promote the development of streets and public spaces that people on foot can use and enjoy. The overall vision is to help the elderly and the disabled get out and walk with confidence and lead independent lives.

The architect names speeding vehicles, broken or blemished pavements, sidewalk motorcyclists, poorly manned crossings, insufficient lighting, inadequate street signage and scarce street names as the most hated hazards, especially by tourists, foreign or local. However, he suggested the introduction of walkable neighborhoods, one-stop shops, cycling pavements (for bicycles), jogging paths, proper zoning and urban gardens for canopy trees and landscaping.

“Sustainability should make excellent business and tourism sense because our cities are part of a global climate,” the architect concludes. “It is only prudent for everyone to contribute as little to it as possible.”


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