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Balance in city's landscape planning

THE Davao City landscape should be balanced between the daily needs of the residents and their convenience, said Architect Jun Palafox, whose architectural firm now heads the Metro Davao Urban Master Plan project with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa).


Palafox who is in Davao City Wednesday said they are not only focusing on the project assigned to them like the improvement of the urban landscape of Metro Davao, but they are also keeping in mind the illegal settlers living in slum areas who need to be relocated once the project is realized.


During the development stage of Estero de San Miguel project near Malacañang, Palafox said they introduced green architecture for the poor. This is as long as the 3 and a half meter space away from the creeks is respected. Moreover, if the residents are living near a river or similarly large bodies of water, at least 10-meter distance should be observed.


Palafox also previously said that Davao City is gradually copying the mistakes of Metro Manila in terms of infrastructure development and urban planning. He pointed out that some road widening projects done by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Mindanao involve “destroying sidewalks”, which instead of being a lane for pedestrians end up being allotted for vehicles.


“Ideally, their relocation sites should be on the site [of the development], but respect the setbacks. Or [relocation can be] near the site or offsite. Offsite is far and that should be the last recourse,” said Palafox.


He added that before the actual relocation, the jobs, the schools, the places of worship, then the hospital should be considered in that particular order. If not followed, the relocated residents will keep coming back nearer their jobs or their schools.


“Planning is balance. The place to live, place to work, place to shop and dine, place of worship, healthcare, recreation, and leisure must all be integrated ideally within walkable distance. Ideally, within walking distance all the needs of daily living should be there. Then the needs of weekly living, further away. Then the monthly needs, much further away. Planning is balance. Our cities are imbalanced between jobs and housing,” he said.


The master plan will cover the urban areas along the Pan-Philippine Highway from Digos City, Sta. Cruz, Davao City, Island Garden City of Samal, Panabo City, Carmen, Tagum City, to Maco, Compostela Valley.

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