PROMINENT Filipino architect, urban planner, and environmentalist Felino Palafox, Jr. is pushing for the development of high-rise buildings that will promote more open-space areas in urbanized areas, leading to a greener and more sustainable environment.
In a seminar entitled “Global trends and revolutionary ideas in urban planning, architecture and real estate development” at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Makati City on Thursday, Palafox highlighted the need for the Philippines to develop more of what he called “air-rise” buildings.
Such buildings, he said, would occupy less land, which could be used for planting trees and more green developments.
Palafox said the Philippines is being left behind by the rest of the world, which is starting to incorporate high-rise developments to occupy less land space.
“The rest of the world is going high-rise because there’s very limited land resources,” Palafox said. “In our country, there are so many local governments and developers, but they only look at the ‘land-rise.’ They’re not looking at the ‘air-rise,’” he said.
It will be recalled that two years ago—right after super typhoon Yolanda ravaged Central Visayas—Palafox, in a round-table interview with The Manila Times, said that more low-rise buildings, would be devastated, if a typhoon of such magnitude would hit Metro Manila.
In the AIM seminar last Thursday, Palafox stressed that the development of what he calls “land-rise” buildings is eating up land that could be used as open spaces for people to walk on, or land that could be used for greening initiatives like planting trees.
Palafox emphasized the importance of open spaces and drawing people closer to nature.
He related having more open spaces to giving people more accessibility options, as it will give them an opportunity to walk instead of driving a vehicle.
Palafox also cited that this would add land value.
“When real estate is very accessible—when real estate is close to amenities like parks, playground and water fronts—there is much higher land value,” he pointed out.
Palafox also noted an imbalance in major roads in urbanized areas.
EDSA, he cited, has nothing to offer pedestrians, since the entire road is occupied by vehicles.
Palfox said the proper division of a road should be one-third for pedestrians to walk on, one-third for vehicles to drive on, and another third for green elements, such as plants and trees.
FIABCI Philippines International Inc. and the Philippine Association of Realty Consultants & Specialists Inc. organized the AIM seminar.