Da Couch Tomato

An attempt at a new layout, with horrible glitches, and very minimal knowledge of HTML.

Urbanized by Gary Hustwits

Because of typhoon Ketsana in 2009, local and national governments have started imposing new laws related to disaster preparedness, environmental sustainability, and urban planning. Ordinary people, too, have started talking.

There was that backlash against an SM Mall cutting down trees in Baguio. There are now plastic-free days─in some parts, everyday─in some business establishments.There's the more recent dispute with the squatters in Quezon City and the housing offered to them.

Whether you live in Baguio, Metro Manila, Bacolod or Davao; whether you own a car, or take the train to work, or walk; if you're a lawmaker, or an urban planner, or an architect; you should definitely watch the documentary Urbanized by Gary Hustwits. (And read other books on urban planning.)

The film talks about the physical growth of different cities around the world. It interviews architects, urban planners, public officials and ordinary citizens who've played active roles in addressing their cities' problems.

My favorite interviews involve:

  1. Enrique PeƱalosa, the former mayor of Bogota, Colombia. He talked about the rights of passengers vs. the right of 1 car owner. He also reinvented Bogota's bus system.
  2. The problem in Mumbai, India where cities provide 1 toilet for 10 families for fear that good urban design will encourage more people from rural areas to move in.
  3. Chile's participatory housing system in which they ask the urban poor things like whether they need a water heater or bath tub, and then build half the house with the family's first priorities. The family can then build half the house on their own.

It gets a 9/10 from me, but I'll be more interested to hear your thoughts on it.

Follow mumblingmaya on Tumblr!

Follow Da Couch Tomato on Twitter and Google+.


Premium Blogspot Templates
Copyright © 2012 Da Couch Tomato