Students from the School of Architecture, Industrial Design and the Built Environment of Mapua University contributed resilient urban design ideas for Angeles City, a landlocked and highly urbanized area foreseen to experience water and heat stress as a result of climate change. Angeles is one of the pilot cities of the Building Climate Resiliency Through Urban Plans and Designs (BCRUPD) project of UN-Habitat.

Led by Architect Mark Roeland De Castro, the students’ site visits and consultations with UN-Habitat and the local government of Angeles concluded with a Youth Urban Design Exchange last October 11, 2019 at Mapua University (Intramuros Campus) as part of Urban October. Five groups showcased their design proposals for a resilient Angeles City and received useful critiques from UN-Habitat, representatives from Angeles (Engineer Malvin Santos and Mr. Rolando Carreon), fellow students, and lecturers. Architect Gloria Teodoro, Dean of the School of Architecture, Industrial Design and the Built Environment dropped by to watch the presentations and give her two-cents.

Data-driven design was a key takeaway from the exchange. Architect De Castro emphasized the importance of research and evidence-based design, while Mr. Reinero Flores (BCRUPD Project Coordinator) suggested putting climate assessment at the start of the process and presentations, and not as an afterthought.

Ms. Jenina Alli, Knowledge Management and Communications Officer of UN-Habitat Philippines, commended the ingenuity of the students but also advised them to consider the feasibility of their ideas:

“One of the top constraints to cities being able to do the interventions is financial resources. If that were not an issue, sky’s the limit… But don’t use it as a factor to limit your ingenuity and your creativity but keep it at the back of your head that this is a limiting factor for LGUs. You can customize your ideas with that consideration in mind so that you can come up with proposals that are actionable.”

This partnership between UN-Habitat and Mapua University aims to equip future architects and designers with climate perspectives necessary for sustainable urbanization. The students are expected to refine their design ideas based on the feedback they received during the event.