Monday, May 9, 2011

Iloilo City as One of the World’s Most Livable Places: BluPrint Magazine

Excerpts from BluPrint Magazine’s “City Beautiful” Issue (Issue No. Special 01 2011)

Editor’s Note by Paulo Alcazaren:

“Melding history with present images and hints of a City Beautiful future, we look at Iloilo City, which is among the top five urban areas in the country and fast rising. The city has a spanking new airport, an award-winning river rehabilitation program and an envious cache of heritage churches, houses and buildings.”

City Beautiful – The Past, Present and Future of our Urban Spaces:

“Manila and many other urban centers in the Philippines hide behind a mask of overpopulation, heavy traffic, air pollution, dead rivers and squatter settlements. Some cities, however, are thriving under increased population pressures. One only has to take a quick flight north to Hong Kong where population size and density are not wildly different from Manila to see how things could be.

Closer to home and a short plane ride south of Manila, Iloilo City has been recognized internationally as a leader in urban planning, good governance and the creation of livable communities. We are all guilty of the “never in the Philippines” attitude. But upon closer inspection, progress is being made. Iloilo’s population of about 400,000 pales in comparison to Metro Manila’s 11 million inhabitants but Manila has a lot to learn from its neighbor and the agenda is urgent. Ad hoc urban growth contributes to the creation of unplanned settlements, overburdened transportation and infrastructure systems and the exposure of huge segments of the population to environmental threats. Iloilo is systematically tackling these and many other issues.”

Iloilo City Facing the Future

"When BluPrint visited Iloilo earlier this year, the efforts were clear. We were greeted with an international-class airport. We visited Calle Real, the focus of the city’s revitalization efforts and found a central business district much lie Manila’s Quiapo in the character of the heritage structures and current business establishments but in much better condition…

Iloilo is a tiny urban center compared to Manila but there are applicable lessons from this progressive city. The holistic view of problems and willingness to tackle tough long-term projects is inspiring. Through the cooperation of government, business, design professionals and urban planners, urban interventions in Iloilo have and will continue to focus on making the city more vibrant, inclusive and environmentally sound to promote economic and social vitality. It will be fascinating to watch this city’s evolution in the coming years as plans are implemented and solutions are tested.”

In for the Long Haul – Iloilo’s International Domestic (sic) Airport

“The local government seems to have a clear vision of its airport as a hub of global exchange – a gateway to the future Metro-Iloilo. The airport is not a token project to paint a picture of success; the city officials are invested in it for the long haul.

While the Iloilo International Airport may not be an architectural accomplishment symbolic of Iloilo culture, it is an accomplishment symbolizing progressive thinking. It soars first class in an air stream above other Philippine domestic airports, and is one reason that citizens of Iloilo can subscribe to the city’s rallying cry, “My City, My Pride”.”



Post a Comment