Cebu News

Cebu bids to host APEC 2015

Kristine B. Quintas, FPL - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City was among the five developing cities that submitted an entry plan for “livable city” vying to host the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

 The other cities are Angeles, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Legazpi.

Cebu City’s entry was the “Green Loop”, which is a pedestrian-dominated green corridor linking the major cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, and the Municipality of Cordova.

It features shaded roads and sidewalks, enhanced and beautiful scenery, leading to an increase in land values and economic activity. It will also promote green initiatives and integrate government structures towards resilience and sustainability.

 Along the loop, bikeways, sidewalks, planting strips, and E-jeepney would also be plying the route. Areas along the loop are designed for evacuation sites during disasters.

 For instance, the third Mactan Bridge may be designed to carry a second level which contains the pedestrian route below the vehicular lanes.

 According to the plan, the bridges are designed with higher factors of safety, the second level may be used as evacuation sites especially for the residents near the foot of the bridge at a short notice. Also, housing sites will be designed on medium rise structures on stilts.

Apart from this, it is seen to promote “green” initiatives and technologies such as solar powered street lamps, rainwater cisterns, and catchment basins.

 The city’s vision for development is to become “The Most Livable City for All”, which embodies the attributes of being cultural and historic; green; innovative, creative and competitive; inclusive, equitable and livable; interconnected and compact; integrated, coordinated, and participative.

 Meanwhile, Angeles City showcases its being one of the epicenters for tourism, leisure, services, and business outsourcing.

The vision is for Angeles City to become a world-class venue and host for local, national, and international conferences and events, including that of the APEC.

 Bacolod City has showcased its attractive destination that is sustainable, resilient and livable for both the residents and visiting tourists. It is the regional center for Western Visayas as well as the epicenter of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area.

 These include Bacolod Urban Food Center “Sabor Bacolod”, Casa Bacolod (City Hotel), The Azucarera cum Disaster Evacuation Center, Bacolod Plaza 6 De Noveimbre, Central Market Development, Araneta Street Pedestrian Mall and Old Bacolod City Hall.

 Iloilo City, one of the oldest and highly urbanized cities in the country, has a design entry which is meant to further bolster Iloilo City’s goal of hosting the APEC summit.

 Iloilo’s development priorities constitute rehabilitation, redesigning, and revitalization of some of the cultural and urban areas.

Legazpi City’s entry as a meeting venue for one of the APEC Meetings focuses on re-shaping local programs, policies, laws and regulations as regards liveability, sustainability and resiliency.

 It proposed developments include The Reef, a Bayfront Park; Danao Water Park, which will serve as a catchment and holding pond for surge and storm water; A People’s Lane; Paua Park Pocket Garden; Lignon Hill Nature Park, a hilltop park that offers a full panoramic view of the city with Mt. Mayo and Albay Gulf coming into full view.

The Ibalong Point, where icons of traditional myths will be translated to monuments, to connect and inspire people to their rich cultural values; Canopies of the Orient, a sculptural piece designed like a unique fan, to complement the aesthetic character of the hotel; the Embarcadero de Legazpi, a modern commercial hub by the sea; Legazpi Activity Center, a venue for plenaries and big assemblies, and JB Allegre Road Enhancement.

 The APEC Meeting Venue entry focuses on the development of a livable city plan.

 Based on the criteria, the plan must include amenities that make attendance in an event like an APEC meeting enjoyable for both delegates and city residents, without causing inconvenience to local residents.

It should capture the soul and spirit of a city and be designed to be a permanent fixture that will form the core of a livable city, which may then be further developed in the next three to five years.

 Additionally, the design must encompass disaster-risk reduction principles, as well as an effective disaster evacuation plan for those working in that area for meetings similar to APEC meetings.

 The entry as well must be designed to be the last remaining building in operation, with full back-up power, water, telecommunications, and other capabilities when all other buildings and structures are down. And, it must serve a primary purpose as a public service facility (civic center, public hospital, government office building, etc.) and a secondary purpose during disasters (evacuation shelter, command post, etc.)

The liveable cities design challenge is spearheaded by Liveable Cities Design Challenge PH in collaboration with USAID-US Agency for International Development and USAID Philippines.  (FREEMAN)

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