PCSI Convenes in Manila: A City Seeking Solutions

Announcing the Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative 2nd Annual Forum, March 11-13, 2014

Overhead view of Manila (jsigharas/Flickr)

Asia Society and Urban Land Institute are collaborating to present the 2nd Annual Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative Forum, which convenes this coming March in Manila, Philippines. 

One of the Asia-Pacific's fastest growing metropolitan regions, Manila is uniquely vulnerable to the growing impacts of climate change, such as storms, typhoons, and coastal flooding. Metro Manila is hit by almost 20 floods per year and estimates are that the numbers and severity will increase as climate change continues. Last November's Typhoon Haiyan, which caused over 5,000 deaths in the Philippines, was certainly one of the worst but won't be the last. Manila also suffers from the effects of inadequate long-term planning as well as problems of governance, impacting everything from housing to commute times.

How can cities across the Pacific, including Manila, become more resilient to the impacts of climate change while maintaining livability for their growing populations? That is the central question for this year’s PCSI Forum.

The Urban Land Institute has studied the urban sustainability challenges facing the Metro Manila region and recently published a report, Ten Principles for Sustainable Development of Metro Manila’s New Urban Core. The "10 Principles" take up some of the key challenges facing Manila and offers a useful jumping-off point for this year's Forum: 

1. Create One Metro Manila - A Common Goal and Vision
2. Improve Urban Mobility - Integrated Transport and Infrastructure
3. Make Beautiful Places - Business Improvement Districts and High-Quality Public Space
4. Work Together - Collaboration and Partnerships
5. Establish Good Governance - A Streamlined Regulatory Framework and Effective Development Control
6. Engage Everyone - An Inclusive, Participatory, and Transparent Process
7. Empower People - Community Improvement Districts to Enhance Education, Awareness, and Employment Opportunities
8. Be Prepared - Disaster Preparedness and Resilience
9. Restore Human Dignity - Affordable Housing Policy and Delivery
10. Go Beyond - Smart Communities, More Livable and Sustainable Communities

Metro Manila is growing fast, eager to improve quality of life for its citizens as well as its economic competitiveness. Manila-area planners, policymakers, researchers, and architects will gather together with their counterparts from across the Asia-Pacific region at the PCSI Forum in March to identify new approaches and ways forward on many of the points outlined in the "10 Principles". 

The Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI) brings together experts to share and showcase solutions that have application across the region.The PCSI 2nd Annual Forum aims to uncover innovative approaches that can be applied locally in the Philippines as well as scaled globally. Read more about the Manila Forum on our Forum webpage.