Agriculture, in Architecture, in Cities
In pursuit of Sustainable Urban Cities and Landscapes
By 2040, Metro Manila will have a population of 13,788,000 (13.8 M) from 2010 - 11,552,100 (11.6 M) reported by National Statistics Office (NSO). Future urban life will be facing harsh conditions not only from global climate change but from high cost of electricity, transportation and food due to our dependency to diminishing fossil fuel. There is no sufficient land in the rural land for increased food needed , as well as the increased demand for fuel will make the production and transport of these produce to urban land highly expensive.
Presently, for our food supplies, we need to conserve our rural farms and start the renaissance of subsistence agriculture in our land and houses, and commercial agriculture in our public and private land and buildings in the cities. Thus, transporting of food from the rural to urban will be less, less vehicles, less gas, less carbon emissions. Then, abundance of vegetation in the buildings and cities, means less use of energy, cleaner air, fresh food and healthy people.
This paper will demonstrate how edible plants and fruit trees can visually enhance the city landscapes and functionally make food more available. Horizontally, we need to grow plants and trees in plazas, parks, streetscapes, squatter free rivers and esteros, school yards, under overpasses, residential front and back yards and other easements. And vertically, to grow plants in buildings like barangay halls, public markets, low cost medium rise housing, residential condominiums, high rise office buildings in their façade, breezeways, walls and roofs.
The vision of appropriate environmentally balanced cities utilizing vegetation that integrate fresh and healthy edible plants and fruit trees in architecturally and culturally acceptable ways, may provide urban livelihood, cool and comfortable living conditions and energy efficient structures of the future low carbon Filipino urban cities and landscapes.
Keywords : Sustainable Urban Landscapes, Sustainable Cities, Urban Agriculture
My name is Maria Mynn Porciuncula-Alfonso. I am currently a faculty member at the College of Architecture, University of Santo Tomas (UST), City of Manila, Philippines. Also, I am completing my doctoral studies in Urban and Regional Planning at the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP), University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman, Quezon City, MM Philippines. I took my Master in Tropical Landscape Architecture at UP while my BS in Architecture at UST. My research focus is on developing green, sustainable environments and energy effifient building designs. Formerly, I worked with my Architect husband and son in projects in Metro Manila and other locations in the Philippines.
Thank you for not plagiarizing. Support us by properly citing the title, author, and seminar (SGRA 16th Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar, "The Urban-Rural Gap and Sustainable Shared Growth", August 23, 2013, College of Engineering, University of the Philippines)