Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

10/11/2012

Dwarfed in Manila

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

I just came back from a two-week trip to Manila and boy did I feel small. Everywhere I looked, hulking buildings sprouted.

The SM Arena is the new swanky stadium out in Pasay City.
Found in Pasay City. 
Where there used to be empty land, foundations and scaffolding have been erected.

Scaffolding and tarp were everywhere.
Even in my backyard, a small oasis, an encroaching building loomed behind my community's double-height residences.

This large building is only a quarter of a mile from my home.
All this progress sure does make me feel old!

These major projects (and their massive footprints) also worries me. Manila has never really been too walkable a city, but with this construction underway, pedestrians would surely feel even smaller than they already do in this bustling 12-million strong city. Only some parts of Manila could ever really be called human scale and these buildings are slowly erasing even that vestige from the country's urban vocabulary.

Is there a way to balance good development and quality of life, you think? Any previous examples you know of?



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