Local government units (LGUs) must work together and take advantage of technology to create disaster-resilient towns and cities, according to architect Nathaniel “Dinky” von Einsiedel, president of the Alliance for Safe, Sustainable, and Resilient Environments (ASSURE). ASSURE is a group of environmental planners, architects, engineers, and related professionals directly involved with disaster risk mitigation and climate adaptation work. The group provided emergency assistance and built shelters in poor municipalities affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
“The impact of climate change, of weather-induced disasters, is that they do not respect political boundaries,” said Mr. von Einsiedel during the Liveable Cities Lab on Resilience webinar on October 21.
In pre-COVID times, our urban transport systems were a daily challenge for many Filipinos. COVID-19 disrupted traditional urban systems and made life more difficult for people. Though we all want to open up the economy by allowing at least 50% of workers to return to work, our mass transit systems in Metro Manila, for instance, only allow up to 30% to actually find a ride. Cities need to adapt quickly and more creatively than ever before.
As we move towards the digital age, data will be the new “oil” which fuels better planning and informed decisions. Data plays an important role, especially in local governments. It allows local chief executives and managers to design better solutions, gain insights in delivering and enhancing services, formulate policies, and improve accountability and understanding of local operations.
In light of the COVID pandemic, the global lockdown has greatly affected cities around the world. Some cities have become epicenters of the pandemic, which intensified the spread and transmission of the virus with their dense population and transport networks. Hence, in line with this, cities play a critical role when it comes to its containment and response.
Both private and public schools urged the local government units (LGUs) to provide them with connectivity and internet access to boost the online learning requirements of their students as the education sector prepares for the new normal when school resumes next month.
The request highlighted the opening session of the Liveable Cities Labs: Webinar Series on the topic, "Online Education Under COVID" that was organized by the Liveable Cities Challenge (LCC), the League of Cities of the Philippines and Globe Business.
In mid-March, the country was put into an Enhanced Community quarantine (ECQ). Over time, different parts of the country were declared under Modified Community Quarantine (MECQ) or General Community Quarantine (GCQ). By June 1st, most of the country shifted to GCQ. The shift to GCQ, however, doesn’t mean that the danger of infection has passed. We still need to remain vigilant.
As Metro Manila goes into General Community Quarantine starting June 1, the key question will be “will there be enough transportation or mobility options”? As people return to work, will there be enough public transport?
Granted while not everybody will be returning to work – only certain industries and essential services will be allowed to re-start – the answer will nonetheless be No.