Friday, September 24, 2021

Altering Dumaguete’s urban landscape

In spite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the present state of work-from-home life, Dumaguete architect Ned Carlos displays no sign of deceleration. Case in point, is his relentless proposal to make Dumaguete City a walkable, functional, and healthy city for several years. Amid these is the LUNGS Urban Plan which highlights employing trees as infrastructure.

As the center of culture in Negros Oriental, Dumaguete City has numerous spaces where green building methods that highpoint walkability can be fused. The boulevard between the sea and Perdices Street (which stretches from Silliman University to the downtown area) are desirable spaces that the architect endorses for this green ingenuity. By instigating such an eco-friendly scheme to this stretch, Dumaguete can be one step nearer to being a walkable city that reflects Singapore.

“[We’re thinking] vertical farming in an urban setting, more open spaces in buildings and along structures, less air-conditioning, more well-designed sidewalks and bike lanes, more trees to provide shade, more greenery to combat the heat, a vehicle-free community, more parks and pocket forests, and green design for houses and buildings,” said the architect.

Presently, the architect and his firm are teaming up with The Bank of the Philippine Islands-Bayanihan para sa Inang Bayan advocacy project to construct dry toilets in Apo Island, off the coast of the town in the southern part of Dauin in Negros Oriental. A project that applies bamboo inclusive and concrete as its groundwork, it was planned with an X-brace to bear typhoons and earthquakes. With bamboo walls, the structure exploits natural ventilation and has a solar panel for night illumination. As a justifiable project, it can be a prototype for community-based coastal resources management.

Architect Carlos is a devotee for green building and is enthused by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, Malaysian architect Ken Yeang and Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia. These people design buildings and spaces through their credence in ecology and sustainability.

“It’s time we regard trees not as a luxury in design nor as an afterthought, but as an infrastructure.”


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