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CSPPS holds policy seminar on land use planning for disaster resiliency

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Aligned with the celebration of the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM), the Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies (CSPPS) of CPAf held a policy seminar that aimed to discuss the vital role of effective land use planning in achieving disaster resilience. The policy seminar entitled “Area Planning towards Disaster Resilience” was held last July 28, 2017 at CPAf Rooms 303-304 . Arch. Stephanie N. Gilles, chairperson of the Emergency Architects of the United Architects of the Philippines, serves as the resource speaker. 

Arch. Gilles emphasized the importance of planning by sharing some international and local cases. She presented photos of various progressive cities around the world such as Paris and Seoul, before and after the implementation of effective planning strategies. She also showed photos of severe flooding, mismanagement of solid waste, and heavy traffic congestion in the country brought by unplanned development. 

Various concepts related to urban planning such as aesthetics, harmony, beauty, and order were discussed. Arch. Gilles further explained the different city elements, kinds of urban development, and street patterns being studied in the science of human settlements or “ekistics”, which  has a primary objective of making the people happy and safe.

The different strategies that could promote city resiliency were then elaborated to increase the resiliency of its urban spaces, particularly in the Philippines. These include the use of disaster-resilient housing structural designs, establishment of buffer zones along the city’s waterways, implementation of housing and resettlement projects based on the principles of disaster risk reduction management, reduction of carbon footprint through lower energy consumption, efficient energy utilization, identification of disaster risk areas, conservation and management of critical ecological zones within the city, among others. These strategies, however effective they may seem, would be irrelevant if the institutional and political environment are lacking.

Through this policy seminar, it was intended that the 79 participants, representing both the private and public sectors, could have a better understanding on effective urban planning for higher resiliency of people. Hence, in order to really achieve a more resilient Philippines, effective management strategies coupled with good governance should be present. (by Nico Jayson C. Anastacio)

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