Urban design discussed at Arki forum

Industry and government experts recently came together and joined students from the UP Diliman (UPD) College of Architecture (CA) to discuss urban design and land-use issues in the Philippines, mainly in and around Metro Manila.

Event poster. Photo from the CA

Held at the CA Benito Sy Pow Auditorium, the Urban Design Forum 2024 featured presentations from the CA graduate and undergraduate students, followed by a panel discussion.

The forum’s first part consisted of three presentations from students of Arch 162 (Planning and Urban Design III: Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning), Archi 232 (Environmental Issues in Urban Design), Archi 233 (Housing and Real Estate Development Issues in Urban Design), and DBE 311 (Advanced Studio Topic) courses. Discussed were urban digitalization; networks and linkages; managing spatial borders and hierarchies; and people, environment, and technology.

Panel members (front row) and the participating CA students at the forum. Photo by Jerald DJ. Caranza, UPDIO

The first group of students looked at the various needs of Metro Naga, Metro Bataan, Metro Legazpi, Metro Lucena, and Metro Clark; and proposed solutions that incorporate coordination, connectivity, collaboration, and comprehensive integration.

The second group of students explored the common issues of several localities including Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija, Metro Manila, and the provinces of Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, and Rizal. They proposed actions for the said localities which include improving digital and physical infrastructure, and using tools such as artificial intelligence and smart traffic systems in development planning.

The third group of students examined the public transportation issues of Metro Manila, how they are now being felt in nearby Metro Rizal and Metro Laguna, and how embracing and leveraging digital technologies such as consolidated transit card systems and real-time information systems, can help address them.

The second half of the forum was a reaction to the students’ presentations by a panel of guests. The panel was composed of UPD College of Engineering Dean Maria Antonia Tanchuling; School of Urban and Regional Planning Dean Dina Magnaye; Director Mylene Rivera of the Environmental, Land Use and Urban Planning and Development Bureau; Michael V. Tomeldan, a professor at the CA; Lorelei De Viana, PhD, a professorial lecturer at the CA; and Jose Marie U. Lim, managing director of LCI ENVI Corporation, a Philippine-based consulting and engineering firm that offers specialized and professional environmental services.

Urban Design Forum 2024 was organized by the CA Urban Design Studio Laboratory and held on May 22.