SUSTAINABLE CITIES BLOCK
MICHAEL V. TOMELDAN
INTRODUCTION: URBANIZATION IN THE PHILIPPINES
Although Manila and Quezon City were cities that were master planned (Burnham Plan for Manila in 1904 and Frost Plan for Quezon City in 1939) in the 20th century, limited resources, lack of political will, and rapid urbanization prevented strict adherence to the plans. As more people populated the city of Manila and the adjacent cities and towns in the 1960s and 1970s, towns in nearby provinces became suburbs that provided the lands to meet the demand for housing and production.
In 1975, Manila, along with three cities and 13 municipalities (mostly from Rizal province) were consolidated to form Metropolitan Manila by virtue of Presidential Decree 940. The National Capital Region (NCR) or Metropolitan Manila has been the premier metropolis in the Philippines ever since. Today, it accounts for about 13% of the national population and 33% of the National Gross Domestic Product. Metropolitan Manila’s lack of urban planning and management, however, have resulted in congestion, lack of open spaces, a polluted environment, poor services, and blighted areas.
The spatial development of Metro Manila evolved into a radio-centric pattern where rapid growth moved outward from its historical nucleus. As the urban population increased, built-up areas from the urban core merged into the urban centers of the smaller peripheral cities and municipalities, leaving very little for metropolitan parks and open spaces. Decentralization is a recognized strategy for stemming the further influx of migrants into Metro Manila as well as equitably distributing economic development to other urban areas in the Philippines. To avoid the ills of Metro Manila, other models of metropolitan development have to be explored for new growth centers.
1. THE METROPOLITAN SUBIC AREA: SHAPING THE FUTURE METROPOLIS
Michael V. Tomeldan
Since the turnover of Subic Bay in 1993, the Philippine government has subsequently converted the former military facility into a free port zone but has struggled for several years to transform it into a thriving logistics hub. In 2011, the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development (SCAD) initiated studies regarding the consolidation of the Subic Bay Freeport and the four municipalities and one city that surround it into one metropolitan area. The Subic Bay Freeport, three Local Government Units (LGUs) from Bataan Province, and three from Zambales province have a total land area of 1,030 square kilometres.
The intent of the metropolitan study is to draft a blueprint for the future physical development of the Study Area by clearly designating areas for development as well as areas for preservation. The planning approach adopted a careful assessment of development threats and potentials through consultations and thematic mapping and analysis. Areas were carefully analyzed so that land uses could be designated as production, settlement, protection, and infrastructure
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