Architect Palafox shared his visions for Manila at Economic Forum

21.04.16 AHK News

Architect Felino "Jun" Palafox, Jr. is one of the best-known architects and urban-planners of the Philippines. He conducted or participated in prestigious projects around the world, such as the urban planning of Dubai.

 Palafox was introduced to the more than 60 guests of the Economic Forum on April 22 by Dr. Andree Buhl, Commercial Counselor of the German Embassy, who also congratulated the German Club to its new Board of Directors.

At the beginning of his lecture “The Philippines 2021 and beyond”, Palafox pointed out the rapid growth of Metro Manila. Every hour 60 new inhabitants are born in the city; this represents the fastest growth among all megacities. Aside from rapid urbanization, he tagged the high poverty index and environmental issues as the as the most important challenges for the Philippines.

To solve these problems in urban areas and create a more innovative, sustainable and livable city, architect Palafox referred to remarkable examples of fast growing but livable urban areas. Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul are vertical cities which include open spaces and visiting places. The integration of public spaces in the streets and in tall buildings is also an important issue to create a walkable, pedestrian-friendly city. According to Palafox, a modern city should mainly consist of mixed-used buildings, meaning: places to live, work, dine and shopping, connected through an elaborated public transport system.

In a second block Palafox presented existing  ideas for Metro Manila's development, e.g. the revitalization of the Pasig River, and emphasized: if the above mentioned challenges are tackled by vision, strong leadership, political will and technical knowledge, he strongly believes in a bright future for the Philippines and Metro Manila in 2021 and beyond. The lecture ended with a short but lively Q&A session.