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Freitag, 24.05.2024
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The Philippines is still not close to achieving even half of the target to transform urban centers into "smart cities," urban planner Felino "Jun" Palafox Jr. said.

Palafox told The Manila Times in an exclusive interview that despite citizens' cooperation, the country is still not close to achieving its target to transform urban centers into smart cities. He also blamed local officials for not cooperating.

"We are still not close to achieving that ... [although] the citizens are cooperating with it," he said.

"Ten percent of mayors and governors are very good, but the 90 percent, they can be better," he said.

He explained that the term "smart city" is not limited to technological innovations, such as the utilization of the internet.

"The focus still rests on finding and implementing effective and sustainable solutions to address the need for inclusive growth and development," he said.

"Smart cities use efficient processes and invest in its people and technology to provide higher quality of life for its citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders," he added. "So we begin with the creation of 15-minute cities where every destination is within 15-minute walking, biking, and public transport, with a location that has more balance between jobs and housing."

In May, Palafox said that urban development outside of Metro Manila must start immediately, predicting that all of the country's cities will be congested by 2050.

"Due to the pandemic, people and businesses have started going to the provinces in order to find more opportunities, which have started things going for urban, regional and national development. We need 100 new cities by 2050, otherwise, the existing cities will be congested just like Metro Manila," he said.

Palafox added that leaders should have visionary leadership, strong political will, appreciation for good urban planning and national development planning, appreciation for good design and engineering, and good management skills, and that excellent citizenship also counts.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Jenica Faye Garcia

Quelle/Source: The Manila Times, 23.10.2023

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