UrbanisMO: Ano ang Plano mo?

Urban planning speaks of ensuring the “highest and best use” of land. Experts variably describe this through a number of buzzwords: “green”, “smart”, “resilient”, “just”, “equitable”. But who defines and decides on these uses? Highest and best use–for whom?

But what do YOU want for YOUR city? What can you do about it?

UrbanisMO invites development practitioners, urban planners, data scientists, and interested citizens of all ages to discuss four crucial issues that can make or break Philippine cities: a) Transportation; b) Housing and urban poverty; c) Disaster risk reduction and management, and d) Addressing urban conflict.

By focusing on alternative scenarios, visions, and paths of engagement, the forum encourages interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration towards useful solutions to the Philippines’ urban problems, at human scale.

About the Speakers/Facilitators

Chester Arcilla is a professor of economics and development studies at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Manila. He finished his BS Chemical Engineering, Master in Development Economics and is currently completing his PhD in Sociology in the UP. He writes on the interaction of political agency, social movements and urban spaces.

Robert Anthony Siy is a transport planner and economist. He works on improving local transport by developing solutions and strategies for public and private authorities looking for a way out of traffic congestion. He worked in the Philippine Department of Finance prior to becoming a member of the 2015-2016 cohort of Chevening scholars. During his Chevening stint he completed a degree in Transport Economics at Leeds University’s Institute for Transport Studies.

David Garcia makes maps. He is a geographer, urban planner, and geospatial analyst who works in places hit by disasters and conflict in the Philippines. Because of the disaster caused by Typhoon Haiyan, he did postdisaster planning, geospatial analysis, and urban design in a team of specialists under the United Nations. He’s worked in cities like Tacloban and Zamboanga, and is now working with the Marawi city government. He just returned from London, where he finished his masters program that was supported by the UK government through the Chevening Scholarships program.

Ica Fernandez is a spatial planner and researcher specializing in the interplay between space, place, culture, geography, good governance, and armed conflict. She has spent the last eight years on development planning and land policy for conflict-affected areas, working in the Philippine government and consulting for international development organizations. Ica holds an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Philippines. She finished her M.Phil in Planning, Growth, and Regeneration (Land Economy) at the University of Cambridge as a Chevening Scholar. She writes occasionally at icafernandez.com.

Abbey Pangilinan worked in the Department of Social Welfare and Development from 2010-2016. From 2013-2016, she served as the National Deputy Program Manager for Operations of the Philippine Conditional Cash Transfer Program (Pantawid Pamilya). Prior to working in DSWD, she has worked in the legislature and the private sector. Abbey finished her BA in Political Science (magna cum laude) and MA in Urban and Regional Planning from UP Diliman. She completed her MSc in Urbanisation and Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science under the Chevening scholarship.

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