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Makeovers

See Metro Manila Get A Virtual Makeover

A landscape architect re-imagines a more efficient, walkable, and greener city

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Photography: Paulo Alcazaren

Have you ever dreamt of a city that was full of verdant parks and clean, tree-lined sidewalks with safe bridges that conveniently linked buildings we could walk to, minimizing the use of cars and jeeps? Architect, urban designer, and landscape architect Paulo Alcazaren has the very same dreams, and he puts these to paper, with hopes that developers, other architects, and everyone else struggling with their daily commute would notice.

In a Metro Manila that is choked with traffic, pollution, garbage, and humanity, the hope for a better metro now seems, more than ever, to be a pipe dream. Alcazaren, a Philstar columnist, and principal of urban design and landscaping consultancy PGAA Creative Designhowever, thinks otherwise. “The oath which the citizens of Athens used to take, enjoining them to defend the city, its people, its values, is to ‘leave the city better than when we came to live in it.’ And definitely, this metropolis of ours can be made much better,” he says.

Alcazaren also encourages the public to fight for a better city. “An unexamined city is not worth living in, to paraphrase Socrates,” he adds. “A lot of Metro Manila is questionable. It should be a common goal to find answers.” On his free time, the architect takes photographs of popular congested public areas, and then draws over the photographs, illustrating solutions to make the area safer, efficient, and greener. Here are some of the architect’s re-imagined Metro Manila spaces:

1. Pedestrian bridges and walkway of SM Megamall and Shangri-la Plaza

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