CATALYZING NEW MOBILITY IN CITIES: THE CASE OF METRO MANILAMOVING METRO MANILA: A Public Lecture on Urban Planning, Transport and Mobility Romulo Lounge, 25th Floor Tower 1 and Exchange Plaza, Ayala Triangle, Makati City 25 October 2011 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm HIGHLIGHTS1. The Ateneo School of Government under its iBoP Asia (Innovation for Inclusive Development) Program in partnership with Ayala Land Inc. hosted the Moving Metro Manila: A Public Lecture on Urban Planning, Transport and Mobility. The guest lecturers for this event were Mr. Benjamin de la Peña, Associate Director, Urban Development of the Rockefeller Foundation and Ms. Susan Zielinski, Managing Director of University of Michigan’s -Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation (SMART) center. It was attended by more than a hundred guests from different government agencies (e.g. MMDA), Local government (e.g. Province of Rizal and Makati), academe (e.g. UP NCTS, Ateneo de Manila University), private sector (e.g. CONCEP, Palafox Associates, Ayala Land), non-government organizations (e.g. Pipol Power Institute, GK,CAI-Asia) and media (e.g. Environment News Service).2. The event started with invocation, national anthem and welcome remarks given by Arch. Joel Luna, Vice-President and Group Head, Innovations and Design Group of Ayala Land Inc.3. Mr. Benjamin de la Peña gave a presentation entitled, Welcome to your Megacity: Metro Manila in Context. The following are some key points of his presentation: - Provided background of the Rockefeller Foundation - The growth with equity and resilience benefits the poor and vulnerable. - The situation in Metro Manila (e.g. slums, traffic congestion) is not unique to the country and can be found in other major cities/ metropolitan in the world. - Building more roads has never solved traffic congestion, but further encourages more cars. - The myths in urban development are as follows: a. Decongest Manila, decongest traffic However, “the only way to decongest a city is to kill its economy.” b. Create alternative center – usage of rank size distribution c. Need more roads to relieve traffic d. More mass transit will relieve traffic Mr. de la Peña emphasized there are only 2 ways proven to relieve traffic: 1) Increase road pricing, and 2) Increase fuel prices
- 85% of population in Metro Manila uses public transportation - Cities are 100-year project - Put people first – “If people count, start counting people”. If you want a sustainable city, pedestrians come first, and then everything follows (e.g. case in Bogota, Columbia). - Proposals: a. Make public officials take public transit at least (once a week, once a month etc.) b. Educate all students about Metro Manila (geo-literacy) c. Leverage new technology and social media d. Look for people that can help find solutions - Before planning, there is a need for a vision. Bottom-up approaches in planning is needed.4. Ms. Susan Zielinski gave a presentation entitled “Connecting the Dots: Lessons in the New Mobility” (A practical approach with benefits: livability and economic opportunity) The following are some of the key points of her presentation: - Important to frame livability and economic opportunity - If transportation is cars, everything else is alternative. - New mobility denotes more choices and more connectivity; implies door-to-door - Game change 4.0 – seamless connections; How do we enhance this? How can it impact our lives? Role of technology and infrastructure - Moving people, Moving goods, Moving less - Organizing “laundry list” by working together - What are the things we can do without or do not require policy and land use change? - There is also a need to have a “link tank” that make things work together. - Connectivity: linking with partners is very important - What are the new roles – defining them in New Mobility - Perspectives should be in view of systems of systems - Some of the current practices and initiatives in different parts of the world (e.g. Mexico, India).5. The following are the highlights of the discussion: - Ms. Glynda Bathan expressed her appreciation for the possibility of a platform for the poor and vulnerable to be included in the process. She raised the following questions on aspect of social equity while there is continuing increase of infrastructure projects (e.g. flyovers). She also inquired on how the concept of New Mobility can elicit participation of sectors that are often excluded. - Mr. de la Peña noted the growing number of private cars in the Philippines while 60% of people use public transit. He shared that when the government builds roads, it is in essence subsidizing private cars – this is an equity issue, a subsidy to the rich and tax on the poor. - Ms. Zielinski on the other hand, emphasized that the need to open up the possibilities for the “common people” (e.g. housewives, students, etc.) to have inputs on the process and the vision. She cited Toronto’s bike program as a good example of this, where the public process actually
was effective. She noted that there is a need to bring together not just transport leaders but also users. Ms. Zielinski also emphasized that public process should evolve to focus more on the users.- Mr. de la Peña added that these processes should include more than just the jeepney/taxi associations. He also raised the following questions to the audience to think about that whenever there is transport issue in the Philippines, the labor, business, and or church are silent on possible workable suggestions.- Mr. Ruben Canlas raised a question on how can we get the policy makers involved with public transit. Mr. de la Peña emphasized that we need to address the cultural issue. Policy makers will refuse to take public transit (no room for bodyguards) but one really needs to experience the problem to understand it. There are ingrained policies (for example, big companies providing car ownership incentives but not public transit ones) working against us. Ms. Zielinski suggested one possible solution would be to get one politician to agree to something and then challenge others (for example to race bike/ car/ public transit taking different routes). This puts them in a position of commuters. Movie stars can also help.- Ms. Ria Scheña of Convergys asked on the concepts application to BPO industry, home-based work and what are the private sector models to address the problems. She mentioned that BPOs may be competing companies but can be good movers.- Mr. de la Peña explained that call centers work at night when there is no public transit. The best would be if workers could simply walk there but BPOs tend to be in expensive areas – there is a need for policies allowing people to live near where they work. Another solution is “odesk,” allowing people to work from home, but then people like to be social.- Ms. Zielinski cited the case of staying at home. One day per week can lead to a 20% reduction in CO2. To combat the lack of social contact for people working from home there is the phenomenon of “hubs”, shared office space for people who live near each other. She also announced that they will have an announcement for the call on New Mobility solutions, and that there will be a cash prize and free trip to Rio +20.- Arch. Einsidel commended the lecturers on their presentation. That it affirms the case of Metro Manila, 16 cities and a municipality that are not connected. There is clearly governance problem. That it is important to get all the Mayors if we want to move Manila. Moving Manila requires modifying Local Government code that negates what should be done metropolitan wide.- Mr. de la Peña agreed and admitted that regionalism is an issue. He cited however that Metro Manila is not alone in this artificiality of boundaries. Certainly we could not simply change the code but there are other options to do things. He gave examples like the EU, which has a growth plan for Europe and funds local projects aligning with it. Other initiatives are “city dividends, talent dividends, and/ or dividends”. The private sector could also be involved (e.g. CEOs for cities in the US).- Arch. Einsidel suggested to ASoG to look at governance problems and examining institutional
solutions for metropolitan management. There is also a need to look for champions in private sector. He also gave emphasis the need to intertwine initiatives with future plans. - Mr. de la Peña mentioned that it is hard to implement long term plans when people do not see beyond their term of office. There is a need for a platform more than the politicians to call for solutions, that way we would not be bound to the electoral cycle. - Ms. Zialcita asked for examples or models of citizen-led initiatives. In addition, how ordinary citizens can demand and engage with government. - Mr. de la Peña gave the example of regional plan association of NYC that puts together a plan, and pressures the government to do it – constant multi-sectoral engagement. He mentioned that governance and bureaucracy are an issue, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Ms Zielinski mentioned that there are many examples of citizen led transformation. For example, in the 1980s the Toronto government tried to eliminate bicycles from the street – the public outcry led to a community council with funding, which decided to change the local culture and celebrate bicycles. This led to a 5% increase in bicycle transportation within 5 years.6. Dean La Viña gave the closing remarks. He thanked the Ayala Land for co-organizing the event and the speakers from Rockefeller Foundation and University of Michigan-SMART. The highlights of his message are as follows: It is timely to approach in a systematic way the challenge in the region. However, the challenge is currently there is no one/coalition yet to back-up these initiatives. Solutions are possible but patience is needed. Insights given by the speakers are very important inputs. Connecting the dots, science and facts are all important inputs in making plans. ASoG will be working closely with MMDA in finding solutions based on good research and mapping of opportunities Framing the solution in the context of inclusiveness. Social entrepreneurship and defining the role of private sector are very important components. One of the possible outcomes of the Search supported by RF is to have a coalition of like- minded organizations and individuals. The context of governance and leadership is a challenge. While we have to engage with Mayors, we also need to change mindsets as well. We need to find champions in government and visionary executives. That his/ her leadership is important. He cited the likes of Archbishop Tagle who is always taking the public transportation. Institutionally, Ateneo (with its new mission and vision under the leadership of Fr. Villarin), is committed to partake in this initiative. That we wanted to have and to start with a walking, carless and zero waste campus. He emphasized that we need to have positive attitude and to always hopeful.