PH urban planning on mobility a century behind, claims ‘green architect’ Palafox

Arch. Felino "Jun" Palafox

The urban planning on mobility in the country is lagging by a century. This was the claim of the Filipino "green architect" Felino "Jun" Palafox Jr.

During the Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation’s (PSPC) pilot episode of the four-part Future Festival, Palafox said that the initiatives pertaining to the subject are "a hundred years behind," stressing that safety must also be factored in when discussing plans and proposals about it.

“The urban planning (in the country) is always looking into the supply and demand of traffic,” he said at the event that served as an avenue to tackle various mobility and transport-related concerns that the country experiences.

Palafox added that EDSA (which is Metro Manila’s circumferential highway) “is functioning like eight roads: major artery, minor artery, access roads,” among others. That’s why the traffic (is congested).”

Felino

While this is the case, Liveable Cities Challenge Philippines Chairman Bill Luz said that the current situation can still improve — especially for the other 149 cities in the country. “There is enough time and opportunities for improvement. They can learn.”

For his part, PSPC Vice President and General Manager for Mobility Randy Del Valle highlighted that the country must have numerous solutions to address the problems being experienced. “Mobility is not just about transportation. It is enabling efficient transactions to make needed products and quality services easily accessible and readily available to everyone on the move, whether it’s traffic, urbanization, the need for safer roads and public transportation, or the long-standing effects of the pandemic — we need many solutions, not just one,” he said.

Pilipinas Shell's Future Festival

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor said that they are eyeing to "extend the country’s pre-existing 500-km bike lane networks in metropolitan cities" to increase accessibility to key activity areas and fundamental facilities, while significantly reducing carbon emission as well as promoting road safety.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to heightened restrictions on public transportation, leaving a large portion of the population considering other mobility options like bicycles. PSPC was one of the first institutions that recognized this trend, leading to the establishment of its “Site of the Future” in Silang, Cavite which has a dedicated area for cyclists.

Photos from Felino “Jun” Palafox Facebook Page, Pilipinas Shell

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