There are cities; then there’s New York

Talk about dreams turned into reality—I’ve always wanted to visit New York City. Of course, Times Square, Central Park, and 5th Avenue are the biggest go-to’s for any tourist, but for urbanists, I guess there would be a natural pull because of the history and the evolution of the city. I mean, you would read about the city from its time as New Amsterdam to the financial might and power that built its pedestal economy—Rockefeller, JP Morgan, and all that—there’s the brilliance of Janette Sadik-Khan, and, well, there’s Jane Jacobs’ influence on the city (particularly her fierce battles on the public arena), and that’s pretty much what iconic really is for me.

I only had roughly two and a half days to go around the city, so I had to choose my destinations and streets well, pray that my legs and feet wouldn’t give way, and that my brain would do its best to become a sponge and absorb everything I could observe. This post will show how I planned my visit to make the touristy experience become more exciting for urban professionals. There are a lot of photos and videos, from Central Park to Jane Jacob’s house at Hudson Street, and my thoughts about the city here and there.

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#SharethatSpace: Collective Thoughts on Urban Planning with Jean Palma

I gave this talk about two years ago, when I was just beginning to understand shared spaces. It’s heartwarming to read the reception on what I said (and the writer got this right), and it’s a realisation how smaller, more meaningful conversations can lead to better appreciation on the urban setting.

Tanglaw University Center


Jean Palma, urban planner (or environmental planner, if you want to be specific) and environmentalist, joined us for a get-together which she herself entitled “Collective Thoughts on Urban Planning” on Saturday, November 26, 2016.

  The get-together took the form of a workshop at the beginning, in which she asked the participants to draw maps of the Philippines and Metro Manila on pieces of paper, marking important roads and landscapes. It was an eye-opening experience – it helped us take a long, hard look at what we knew of the places they move around in, and what we do as citizens of our respective barangays, cities, provinces, and of course, the nation as a whole.

          We learned that urban planning, very much an interdisciplinary task or endeavor, was about more than just a cityscape. It is about the human persons who drive the activities in…

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A Placemaking Project (A Proposal for Marikina City)

This proposal is an entry for Challenge #4 of the Civic Innovation Fellowship. It invites anyone with a passion for urbanism to propose solutions to the issues and challenges in Marikina City. Being a Marikeña and an urban planner, this call really piqued my interest because I’ve had ideas to bring placemaking into my city for the longest time. Let me share the proposal with you.

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EnP Board Review Schedule for 2017

I’ve received numerous comments, follows, and queries since my last post. Thanks to everyone for the kind words. It’s been a while since I worked on the blog series (I’m currently doing disaster work), but I hope I’ve been able to respond to everyone via e-mail.

Anyway, I’m sharing the schedule of UP Plano’s EnP Board Coaching Sessions for 2017. Here’s the poster:


Click on this link for the original post. And click here to register.

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Survey for Citizen Engagement (MOOC Final Project)

This post is the project for my MOOC on Citizen Engagement: A Game Changer for Development. The objective is ‘to design a theoretical citizen engagement to improve policy-making and/or public service delivery in your local community, city, or country, and creatively express how this might look like in the real world through the creation of a digital artifact.’

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