Paulo Alcazaren is a Filipino architect and respected urbanist. He reposted today a Facebook-post from March 2015. A post about a column on Metro Manila, written in 2013 for the Philippine Star.

In his column he cites ten reasons why Metro Manila was losing its soul. Sadly, not that much has changed yet.

You could read the list as a lost cause. Ten reasons why Manila won't ever be a great city again. But I hope some read it as a call to action. Still today, eight years after it was published.

It is true that Metro Manila is wrestling with a great number of deficiencies. But in the short time that I am here, I met people and encountered communities that want to turn the tide. Some want to make Manila anew the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, or at least a city where people can live.

Here are the ten reasons Alcazaren listed, but this time summarized in such a way that if executed, it will give Manila a soul!

  • Stop the urban sprawl and build a strong community fabric between the different patches that form Metro Manila

  • Work out a master plan that goes beyond parochialism

  • Govern Metro Manila as a united metropolitan area

  • Respect the heritage and structure of the city

  • More green, shared public spaces, parks and plazas

  • Link the city with, and turn the city towards the water: Manila Bay, the rivers and esteros

  • Unclog and decommercialize the public landscape

  • Make Metro Manila a walkable and bike-able city

  • Nourish vibrant cultural initiatives, and give cultural expressions space and time to thrive

  • Reclaim the Metro, break the agenda of the private companies

An aerial view of Metro Manila (Pasig City, Mandaluyong and Makati) An aerial view of Metro Manila

#architecture #manila #philippines