Tacloban, January 30 2016 — It was the question posed to Tacloban City officials by an international team of urban planners during a recent mission organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

Many would comment that the question is timely, considering the city is still undergoing reconstruction following the devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda (known internationally as Haiyan). Nonetheless, the city continues to experience sustained urban growth and create both challenges and opportunities for its residents and the rest of the region.

The UN-Habitat mission was part of Urban Lab – a one-year global project to support the growth of inclusive, safe, sustainable and resilient cities. Aside from key discussions with city officials and field visits, a planning charrette was held where the Urban Lab team shared four models of city growth and development (pictured below):

Core: Developing the city’s downtown and historic core

Linear: Encouraging growth around corridors along the highways and the coastline

Patchwork: Connecting current patchwork of built-up areas and their relations to the open spaces in between them

New Town: Nurturing a core area in a new district of the city

How should cities grow models

To help operationalize each model, the team asked city representatives and workshop participants to consider these questions:

  • How does the model build resilience and reduce risk?
  • How does the model achieve fair and inclusive growth?
  • How does the model define a growth engine for the city’s future?
  • How does the model promote an infrastructure system that supports various scales?
  • How does the model fit within an actionable time frame?
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The design charrette enabled city representatives and key stakeholders to reflect on the best planning model for the city.

After considerable discussion and reflection on the local realities, the participants came to an emerging consensus – the city could adopt a hybrid approach. This approach, while combining useful elements of all four models, would be based on many considerations, including (but not limited to) existing elements of the urban landscape, proposed projects that when implemented will influence the direction and extent of the growth, as well as the phases of growth based on key scenarios. The approach also considered the need to balance the core historic area with a proposed urban expansion in the north, while at the same time fostering green space and transport corridors in the mid-section of the city.

The participants also reflected on issues of inclusivity. It was emphasized that lower income housing in the south is required to reduce displacement. On the other hand, housing schemes for people of various economic classes should be encouraged in the north to avoid stigmatization and encourage everyday interaction of people from different economic backgrounds. Furthermore, such inclusivity will also be reflected in the network of public spaces and streets that should permeate each settlement in the northern district.

The approach discussed at the charrette will feed into the reformulation of the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP). Initial deliberations emphasized the importance of providing both narrative and illustrative inputs into the CLUP process.

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During the week-long mission, the UN-Habitat team conducted field visits to the east coast, downtown, midsection and northern districts of the city.

During the week-long mission, the UN-Habitat team conducted field visits to the east coast, downtown, midsection and northern districts of the city. The team also met with the City Mayor, as well as with members of the technical working group for the CLUP.

Reflecting on the discussions, Mayor Alfred Romualdez agreed that the city needs a tailor-fit plan that considers the local, regional and provincial complexities in ecology, population movement and economic development. He welcomed the continued technical inputs from the team as the city remains committed to the partnership with UN-Habitat that endures since the early onset of Haiyan.

The team also worked with city representatives to define the work plan of the year-long Urban Lab project in Tacloban City, and mapped out subsequent missions by the international team.

Urban Lab is directly related to the Achieving Sustainable Urban Development project currently being implemented by UN-Habitat Philippines in five cities (i.e., Iloilo, Silay, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, and Butuan).

The Urban Lab team will provide technical advice, planning methodologies and creative urban designs through field missions and office work to inform both the proposed planned city extension and the ongoing review and formulation of the CLUP. A participatory and people-centered approach in the planning process will be promoted.

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Participants of the design charrette held during the Urban Lab mission to Tacloban City.

 

Tacloban City 30 January 2016 – From now until the end of the year, UN-Habitat will be supporting Tacloban to become an inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable city. The overall objective of the one-year Urban Lab project in Tacloban City is to provide high level technical expertise in the design phase of a new urban development district in the northern part of the city. The activities will support the local government in creating inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable new neighbourhoods for Tacloban residents. Now at its early stage, the Urban Lab will do this by providing technical assistance in the development of the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).

The Urban Lab team is made up of four international experts.

Christopher De Vries

ChristopherDeVriesChristopher de Vries is principal at Rademacher de Vries Architects (RDVA). Over the last ten years Christopher has been involved in various post-disaster redevelopment projects.

In 2007 Christopher started a research group at the Delft University of Technology that studied the long term effects of post-disaster shelter and urban planning. This work included projects in Venezuela, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ghana, El Salvador and the Philippines, Sichuan and Haiti. In 2010 Christopher was part of a research group at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) into informal housing in the global South, of which the results were presented at the United Nations World Urban Forum. Following this work Christopher joined a research group at the Harvard GSD following the 2011 Tsunami in Japan.

The work involved assisting the local and provincial planning department in Miyagi in making schemes for a more resilient city that took tsunamis as an inevitable part of the local geographic conditions instead of assuming safety behind concrete walls. In 2012 Christopher became the project leader of the ZUS-MIT team for the rebuild by design competition in New York following Hurricane Sandy. The proposal was one of the winning projects and is currently being realized.

For the Mission in Tacloban City, Christopher hopes to bring these experiences into Urban Lab format and assist Tacloban Planning department in realising a more safe and resilient city for the future.

Marieke Kums

MariekeKumsMarieke Kums studied as a Fulbright scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and at Delft University of Technology from which she received a Master of Science in Architecture degree cum laude.

In 2010 MAKS became a founding member of UNION3: an international research and design group focused on the problematic of renewal in European cities. UNION3 has done research and published widely on the topic of (urban) renewal in the Netherlands and abroad.

Since 2013 she is a member of the advisory board for the Creative Industries Fund NI. In 2014 Marieke joined the lectureship “Future Urban Regions” (FUR) which was initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Planning. FUR examines urban (eco) systems and innovative design resources for the existing city. From a changing notion of use of space it is working on the improvement of urban environmental, economic situation and/or socio-cultural participation.

Neville Mars

NevilleMarsNeville Mars is the principal of MARS Architects in Shanghai, a sustainable planning and architecture studio with over ten years of experience in Asia. MARS Architects have won national and international architecture competitions, including the winning bid for an office tower in Chongqing, the winning gaps between research and design, art and technology.

Mars is a lecturer and tutor at the China Academy of Art and PhD candidate at RMIT in the field of urban theory. He is a member of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, and fellow presenter at the TED global_INK conference. Mars is the author of the book “The Chinese Dream – a society under construction”. This 800 page tome proved to be a prophetic analysis of the correlation between city building and society building in China inspiring the theme of China’s twelfth Five Year Plan. Mars will publish his second book “Manifesto of Mistakes – urban solutions for the new world” in 2016. This comprehensive ecocity design manual fundamentally rethinks the principles of the planning discipline to arrive at a step-by-step strategy for integrating all scales of sustainable planning projects.

Harmen van de Wal

HermanVanDerWalHarmen van de Wal graduated with honourable mention in 1992 at de Technical University of Delft, Faculty of architecture. Between 1996 and 2000 he worked for Maxwan, and B+B landscape architects and planners. In April 2000 he founded Krill-Office for Resilient Cities and Architecture. Krill is engaged in three fields of work: architecture, research and urban design. The architectural work ranges from transformation to new build projects, from housing to offices and public facilities. Urban planning projects range from urban renewal to research on large urban landscapes, both in The Netherlands as in Asia. Krill has recently put together an international team to propose tools for desakota development in Indonesia, now being studied as a possible national Indonesian program, as well as for projects to alleviate slum areas with the use of social capital of the community.

The research is key to the development of Krill’s work. This is carried out in close collaboration with a number of universities, such as Technical University of Delft, on the impact of architectural spaces on social interaction, the Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on development tools for the green growth of peri-urban areas, and IHE-UNESCO on water related issues in the city of Bandung.

With Krill, Harmen van de Wal has won many prizes, and has been featured in numerous exhibitions, and publications. Next to the parallel to the work at Krill, Harmen van de Wal lectures on a regular base at universities and academies. He was part of the advisory board for the Creative Industries Fund NL between 2010 and 2013, and is now part of an advisory board to the Dutch embassy in Jakarta.

Supported by

The Urban Lab team is supported by UN-Habitat urban planning specialists, Thomas Stellmach and Rogier van den Berg from headquarters in Nairobi and the Philippines country office with David Garcia, Reinero Flores and Christopher Rollo. The team is one of many other Urban Lab teams globally who are working with cities on urban development.

View related articles:

How should a city grow?

UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab project begins in Tacloban City

For further information go to: http://unhabitat.org/urban-initiatives/initiatives-programmes/urban-planning-and-design-lab/

 

As featured in BusinessWorld on January 25, 2016

Not for EDCA use: CdO pushes for old airport’s commercial development

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Local officials here are taking various initiatives to keep the Lumbia Airport, which is being eyed as a growth area for the city’s urban expansion, from being used as part of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and United States.

The airport, located about 10 kilometers from the downtown area at an elevation of 180 meters above sea level, used to be the main gateway in Northern Mindanao before the opening of the Laguindingan International Airport. It stopped operations for commercial flights in June 2013 and has since been turned over to the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group.

The City Investments Promotions Center unveiled over the weekend a plan to develop Lumbia and its environs covering Barangay Lumbia into a residential and economic growth center.

Local Economic and Investment Promotions Officer Eileen E. San Juan said the city government already had initial talks with the United Nations Habitat to be part of the development of the 850-hectare area into a mixed-use complex with residential, commercial, institutional, and agro-industrial components.

Barangay Lumbia, with a population of almost 2,000 households, is essentially a farming village whose produce are delivered downtown and in the neighboring province of Bukidnon on a daily basis.

UN Habitat has expressed intent to develop settlement facilities through its Achieving Sustainable Urban Development project.

Ms. San Juan said this would then be complemented with other potential sources of funding, including from the local government, loans and grants, public private partnerships, or national government equity.

CDO_planning1200x630Ms. San Juan also said she met with Department of National Defense officials last week on the plight of the 106-hectare airport in relation to the city’s proposed development and EDCA was not part of the discussion.

This means, she said, that reports of Lumbia being used as an American military facility is still “speculation at this point.”

Councilor Lourdes D. Darimbang warned that US military presence at the old airport could put the planned development in the Lumbia area at risk.

“We will also be putting up there a state-of-the-art geriatrics hospital and we can’t risk it being targeted for terrorism just because we’re accommodating the Americans for the sake of EDCA,” Ms. Darimbang said.

2nd District Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez recently filed a bill that will transfer the ownership of Lumbia Airport from the national government to the local government.

Mr. Rodriguez also previously filed a bill calling for the sale of the airport and use the fund to partly finance the proposed Mindanao Railway System.

 

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The Urban Lab team will analyse the vital connections between Tacloban City’s main urban area and the various settlements that are connected to it.

Tacloban City, 25 January 2016 — International experts from UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab team will conduct their first technical mission to Tacloban City from 26-29 January 2016, as part of the global project to support the growth of equitable, sustainable and resilient cities.

The overall objective of the one-year Urban Lab project in Tacloban City is to provide high level technical expertise in the design phase of a planned city extension (PCE). The activities will support the local government in creating inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable new neighbourhoods for Tacloban residents, and provide technical assistance in the development of the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).

“In the spirit of our continuing partnership, we are delighted that Tacloban City will benefit from the expertise and capacity building activities made available through this project,” said Christopher Rollo, Country Programme Manager for the United Nations Human Settlement Programme in the Philippines (UN-Habitat Philippines).

“A city-wide spatial framework to emerge out of the CLUP will enable the city to transition from recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities to long-term, sustainable urban development projects,” added Rollo.

The Urban Lab team from UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, along with local urban planners from UN-Habitat Philippines, will conduct the initial scoping mission. The mission focuses on determining the thematic issues that the team will address over the year and the kind of value-adding technical support required.

The team will meet with the Mayor, government officials and key stakeholders; conduct a site visit of Tacloban North; and hold a design charette with the city’s Technical Working Group.

Urban Lab is directly related to the Achieving Sustainable Urban Development project currently being implemented by UN-Habitat Philippines in four cities (i.e., Iloilo, Silay, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga).

At the same time, UN-Habitat Philippines is providing technical support to Tacloban City in the preparation of its Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP). This support is part of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative – a global programme being implemented in the Asia Pacific region. The LCCAP will build upon vulnerability assessments that the city has previously completed with the assistance of UN-Habitat following Typhoon Yolanda.

The Urban Lab project in Tacloban City will run until December 2016. Tacloban City is the only city in the Philippines included in this global project.

To strengthen the planning process, the larger ecological and developmental context (such as landscape and seascape shown above) will be analyzed to ensure the functioning of the city extension, downtown and other districts with the rest of the region.

To strengthen the planning process, the larger ecological and developmental context (such as landscape and seascape shown above) will be analyzed to ensure the functioning of the city extension, downtown and other districts with the rest of the region.

Background

Tacloban City is the regional center of its administrative region (Region VIII) and the fifth fastest growing city in the country. Among those cities and municipalities affected by Typhoon Yolanda, Tacloban City suffered the greatest damage to housing and settlements.

The total damages for Tacloban was estimated at about PHP7 billion, of which  PHP2.5 billion was in infrastructure, PHP726 million in the productive sectors, PHP3.4 billion in the social sector, and PHP361 million in other cross cutting sectors (data provided by the Office of Civil Defence).

Following the typhoon, the city developed the Tacloban Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan (TRRP) with the assistance of UN-Habitat and other partners. In the TRRP, the city government identified the northern part of the city as a major site for resettlement and city extension. The selection of the north district was based on considerations on risks, vulnerabilities, zoning and settlement patterns, as well as regional growth directions.

UN-Habitat Philippines implemented other initiatives based on the TRRP, including a climate change vulnerability assessment, socioeconomic profiling at the household-level for select vulnerable barangays, production of geospatial data, demonstration projects on community livelihood, youth awareness activities and others.

Other projects of UN-Habitat Philippines include post-disaster community-driven housing in the city. All activities have proved timely, as they converge to support the review and preparations of the updated CLUP.

The Urban Lab team will provide technical advice, planning methodologies and creative urban designs through field missions and office work to inform both the proposed planned city extension and the ongoing review and formulation of the CLUP. A participatory and people-centered approach in the planning process will be promoted.

 

Manila, January 16 2016 — The Standard has published details on UN-Habitat’s renewed partnership with the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC).

Yolanda Recovery. The Social Housing Finance Corporation recently renewed its partnership with United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to facilitate faster reconstruction of Yolanda-affected areas in Luzon and Visayas. The signing of the Memorabndum of Understanding (MOU), held in Pontevedra, Capiz, marked the expansion of the “Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements Project”.

Under the MOU, SHFC and UN-Habitat will continue to advocate the community-driven approach in their shelter responses in Palawan, Tacloban City, Leyte and other Yolanda-hit communities.

At the signing were: SHFC vice president for Visayas and Mindanao Atty. Rosalie Tagulan, UN-Habitat’s country programme manager Christopher Rollo, and Capiz vice governor Esteban Contreras.

The community-driven approach is an alternative way of implementing housing programs which enables communities to lead their housing projects. This approach results in faster delivery of housing needs especially in post-disaster areas, as illustrated in the experience of Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

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Manila, January 12 2016 — BusinessWorld has published an article on UN-Habitat’s renewed partnership with the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC). 

Text from the article:

The Social Housing Finance Corporation recently renewed its partnership with United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) to facilitate faster recovery and reconstruction of Yolanda-affected areas in Luzon and Visayas.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) held in Pontevedra, Capiz marked the expansion of the “Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements Project,” a community-driven recovery and rehabilitation of Yolanda-hit communities in Capiz and Iloilo.

Under the MOU, SHFC and UN Habitat will continue to advocate the community-driven approach in their shelter responses in Palawan, Tacloban City, Leyte, and other Yolanda-hit communities which will undergo Post-Yolanda recovery program. Aside from building houses, SHFC and UN Habitat will also implement capacity building programs that will equip the communities on resiliency and climate change adaptation.

The community-driven approach, also called the “People’s Process,” is an alternative way of implementing housing programs which enables the community to lead their housing projects. This approach results in faster delivery of housing needs especially in post-disaster areas as illustrated in the experience of Sri Linka and Indonesia.

SHFC Vice President for Visayas and Mindanao Atty. Rosalie Taguian said that the partnership will continue to bring out the best in every community so that they will be able to lead their way to recovery and resilience.

Local leaders in Capiz including Vice Governor Esteban Contreras who attended the event expressed their intentions in collaborating with SHFC and UN-Habitat in the implementation of the community-driven recovery in their respective areas.

The photobook and video on people-initiated disaster-recovery were also launched.

It is a joint project of SHFC and UN Habitat which highlights the lessons of the “Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements Project” in Capiz and Iloilo, which enabled the construction of 660 disaster-proof houses and the training of more than 4,000 households on disaster resiliency.

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World-Habitat-Day---English

In Resolution 40/202 of 17 December 1985, the UN General Assembly designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day.

The next World Habitat Day will be on Monday 3 October 2016.

Last year, the United Nations chose the theme Public Spaces for All.

“High-quality public spaces encourage people to communicate and collaborate with each other, and to participate in public life. Public spaces can also provide basic services, enhance connectivity, spawn economic activity and raise property values while generating municipal revenue.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Past Observances:

 

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Ideas are due by 15 February 2016 for a document — The City We Need 2.0 — that will comprise key stakeholder input to the drafting of the New Urban Agenda.

With the calendar turned to 2016, momentum is now picking up toward Habitat III, this year’s United Nations conference that will result in a 20-year urbanization strategy called the New Urban Agenda. Ahead of that once-a-generation conference, a major stakeholder initiative is soliciting ideas for inclusion in a key set of recommendations for that strategy.

Specifically, the World Urban Campaign is looking for “urban solutions”, or initiatives, practices, policies, legislation and models that address urban challenges to achieving what the campaign calls The City We Need. Individuals and organizations are now being asked to submit proposed urban solutions to wuc@unhabitat.org by 15 February using the following template.

The City We Need is an evolving document that the World Urban Campaign, an initiative of UN-Habitat, has been preparing for several years ahead of Habitat III. Its title piggybacks off of the Future We Want, the outcome document from the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, held in 2012.

With the Millennium Development Goals set to expire at the end of 2015, the Rio+20 conference decided that U. N. member states should adopt a new framework — a series of Sustainable Development Goals — to tackle ambitious targets on issues such as poverty, hunger and education. That conference also set in motion a global consultation to solicit ideas on what those goals should be. The landmark result, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, was adopted in September.

If the U. N.’s sustainable development agenda could be described as “the future we want”, then the lead-up to Habitat III should in turn define “the city we need,” organizers felt.

The City We Need 1.0 emerged ahead of the seventh World Urban Forum in Medellín. In the run-up to that April 2014 global gathering of urbanists, the campaign released a manifesto with nine principles. According to that March 2014 document, the city we need is:

  • Socially inclusive
  • Well-planned, walkable and transit-friendly
  • Regenerative and resilient
  • Economically vibrant and inclusive
  • Of a singular identity and sense of place
  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Affordable and equitable
  • Managed at the metropolitan level

The City We Need took on additional life in the aftermath of World Urban Forum 7 at the first Urban Thinkers Campus, held later in 2014. At that first-of-its-kind event in Caserta, Italy, the members of the World Urban Campaign realized that The City We Need could evolve with input from around the world ahead of Habitat III.

The campaign thus established a temporary initiative, the General Assembly of Partners (GAP), to gather that input. Today, that process is ongoing through the deliberations of 14 partner constituent groups, representing the breadth of civil society with a stake in Habitat III, as well as a series of more than two dozen Urban Thinkers Campuses, which began in June 2015 and will wrap up early this year.

Both the outcome of the Urban Thinkers Campuses and the new call for Urban Solutions will contribute to the drafting of the next iteration of The City We Need — version 2.0. The document is slated to be presented on 15 March at the next meeting of the World Urban Campaign Steering Committee, in Prague, on the sidelines of the Habitat III Regional Meeting for Europe.

Upon adoption by the campaign, the document will be handed over to the General Assembly of Partners, where it will likely form the basis of that group’s outcome document. Last month, the U. N. General Assembly recognized the GAP as a formal player in the Habitat III process. As such, once the GAP’s outcome document is submitted to the Habitat III secretary-general, it is expected to influence the first draft of the New Urban Agenda, due in April.

Article first appeared on Citiscope.org
Written by Greg Scruggs/Citiscope