Living in an urban jungle called Metro Manila makes me think of little ways on how to make the city better for everybody. My background in architecture and design obviously helps but just by experiencing the day-to-day life here compared to how life is abroad opened my eyes to the harsh reality (and a hopeful future) that Metro Manila is far from ideal and could definitely be better.
It was in the home of Sylvia Tay van Remoortele, the wife of Belgian Ambassador to the Philippines, that I was acquainted with this wonderful project called Planning a Clean & Green Township, which Sylvia started in 2012. It is a competition for youth leaders 14-20 years old, and they are tasked to come up with a master plan for a clean and green township. They use real cities as subjects, and they have already featured Hanoi, Vietnam (2012), Iskandar Johor, Malaysia (2013), and Yangon, Myanmar (2014). For 2015, the city of Manila will be taking the spotlight.
It is a great way to envision what Manila would look like if you were to rebuild it. Registration has already started, and while I can't join because I'm too old, I hope you guys can spread the news to your schools and friends who you think might be interested. Oh, and one more thing, Sylvia mentioned that the registration fees (and I think the SG expenses too) are waived for public schools. Very cool, right?
Read on if you're interested.
According to Sylvia, the aims of the competition are:
- Ensuring that young people are capable of taking on the 21st century challenges of global warming and climate change, social inequities, unsustainable lifestyles and the urgent need for proper management of our natural resources like forestation and energy.
- Appreciation for global issues such as poverty, inequality, hunger and environmental degradation that often afflicts developing countries.
- Promotion of learners' growth and development with values such as respect for the environment and sustainability.
- Encourage responsible lifestyle choices, heighten awareness of global environmental issues, create awareness of cultural and societal sensitivities.
Teams will have 4-6 members and they need to write a 15-page sustainable and viable plan for the city of Manila for the preliminary round. A workshop will be held on February 7th, 2015 at the Mind Museum to help the teams write an effective proposal.
Once the teams get selected, they will be invited to Singapore for a 5-day study trip from March 31st to April 5th, which will also include the finals and awarding ceremony.
The competition is endorsed by the city of Manila, Department of Tourism, Department of Education, Bases Conversion Development Authority, The Mind Museum, Centre for Liveable Cities (Singapore) and other research and education centers.
If you'd like to know more, visit: