Typhoon Glenda (int. name Rammasun) ravaged southern Luzon in the Philippines this week. The unusual defining strength of the typhoon was not by its rainfall, but by its wind, which delivered considerable damages to the capital, including the historic tree in Malacañang Palace.
These pictures show the damage of Glenda to Ateneo de Manila University. Dormers even had some of their windows shattered because of the wind. The ones who documented the aftermath showed images of a university which looked like a warzone. It was awfully shocking and so many traces of the storm were still present when the students came back to school a while ago. There was even an area in the middle of the road that has been cordoned off because of a branch that looked like it is about to fall. Big trees were uprooted and the some of them had their roots thoroughly exposed to unsuspecting passers-by.
It makes me really question whether there is hope for more resilient cities for the Philippines now that global warming is making disasters worse. Because even in the Ateneo (which is in my opinion, the most beautiful Philippine university when it comes to being green — lol!), Glenda delivered her powerful punches, similar to the other places hit by the storm. The Ateneo suddenly became a mess and I guess it would have been a shock to many members of the community. Actually, southern Luzon really became a mess and I guess everybody was shocked by what the storm has brought to us.
There is this proposal to make an expressway that will ease traffic from Metro Manila and Laguna, and vice versa. It will also function as a dike to mitigate flooding along the western shores of Laguna de Bay. the government should also consider an accompanying railway system to reduce car usage, but most likely improbable, because the company that would probably get the expressway built would love to monopolize the transportation in that area — unless that they would also do the railway. The expressway could also get sustainable. If the traffic would also become worse in this expressway, and if their only solution is to build more lanes, there could be serious consequences to the lake. I am skeptical about how it will mitigate flooding and the proposed reclamation areas. I think the reclamation areas could worsen flooding. One interesting effect that might happen is that it may kill the baklad fishing industry in the area. Someone told me before that this industry is owned by a local politician (I forgot who) and this traditional way of fishing actually worsens the floods by gathering up sediments and invasive water plants. True or not, the government has to do a lot of studies before they could make this project happen.
Our love affair with automobiles has shaped our cities and our lives – but mature metropolises are finally realising that the needs of people are even more important
Manila’s streets are far from this realization. Walkable areas are almost impossible for many of its thoroughfares and safety has always and has been a perpetual concern.
But thanks to the great efforts of #selfiEscolta and Pasyal Sundays of Intramuros Administration, everyone’s dream of a more walkable and democratic Manila is slowly, but surely coming into realization.
Paulo Alcazaren: Here’s a follow up to my proposal for the greening of the CCP complex. This google map is overlayed with the potential park coverage, which will give citizens a seven hectare (70,000 square meter) park. If the Design Center behind the CCP is relocated, this would yield another hectare …if Star City lease ends, this is another four hectares or so ..if the FAT(which is reportedly structurally unsound now) is demolished this would bring the park to the water’s edge and a grand total of 14 hectares (140,000 sq meters) of green. A typical large mall in Metro Manila, of which we have many, is over 200,000 square meters. Don’t you think we deserve as much green and open space as that meant for shopping? Please share if you agree. (source)
The search for the first subway in Metropolitan Manila continues!
Thankfully, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will bless us with further studies on the feasibility of a subway from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan to Dasmariñas, Cavite. I believe that with Japan technology, such feat would not be impossible. This would prove to be a very strategic move to decongest Metro Manila’s roads, most notably, EDSA. This project should push through, because building skyways would just darken many parts of the Metro, just like what the LRT did to Manila.
With the signing into law of Republic Act 10638 by His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III, which extends the corporate life of the PNR for another 50 years up to June, 2064, a revitalized Philippine National Railways (PNR) is gearing up for the launch of the 900-kilometer Integrated Luzon Railway Project and the 37-kilometer North-South Commuter Project.
It seems that there is still hope for the revitalization of railways in the Philippines — for both people and goods!
BRT Proof of Concept
With this amazing video, it looks like the Department of Transportation and Communication is serious with the concept of BRTs for Metropolitan Manila. The graphics were nice and they present the gruesome situation of the transportation in Metropolitan Manila.
This is great and hopefully, the government should also carefully coordinate with the existing bus drivers and their current systems for them to be comfortably integrated into the system. There are no further details yet on the project(s), therefore what we can do now is hope and in our ways, really convince the government for better public transportation.