MESA Blog – The Value of Civic Participation and Institutional Partnerships

The Value of Civic Participation and Institutional Partnerships by Noel Cruz PHOTO: From Left: Ar. Leah Dela Rosa (Newton UST Team Lead), Ar. Rodolfo Ventura (Dean of UST College of Architecture) and Mayor Dan Fernandez (Mayor of Santa Rosa City) From my personal experiences of working for the MESA project and talking with local residents from the City of Santa Rosa, I have witnessed firsthand how local participation is of great importance in addressing the real and urgent needs and aspirations of a society.   PHOTO: Some of the community representatives The concept of civic participation is said to be closely linked with the concept of democracy. Although the concept of democracy is not new, in the Philippine context, it is only in recent decades that “bottom-up” approaches to development, which incorporate local opinion in decision-making, have become popular. After six months of working with some of the local residents of the City of Santa Rosa, we came to reap the first fruits of our collaboration with them during...
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MESA Blog – Barangay Aplaya, Santa Rosa City, Laguna

Barangay Aplaya, Santa Rosa City, Laguna by Sylvia D. Clemente I always ponder on the many contradictions of this small barangay located along the lake shore of Laguna Lake. The first time we visited it’s impossible not to see it as one of the poorer barangays in Santa Rosa as you are greeted by the very narrow streets and alleys, old bridges that cut across a number of silted esteros, dilapidated wooden houses, street hawkers peddling food, and children playing on the streets.  It’s a lively community with its public space full of life as people go about their day-to-day activities and the ubiquitous tricycles darting in and out of the main street. The main street is the heart of the community and is where you get a glimpse of its character.  Churches of all denominations from Iglesia ni Cristo, Aglipayan Church, to Born Again, line up along this busy street.  The people are very religious, friendly to outsiders, are generally content and do...
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Universities of Reading (UK) and Santo Tomas (Philippines) awarded British Council funding

The British Council is supporting a new urban study to map social and green infrastructure assets. Flora Samuel and Eli Hatleskog, in Reading's School of Architecture will be mapping social assets, urban greenery and the connections between them in rapidly changing cities in the Philippines, in partnership with the University of Santo Tomas, thanks to a £120,000 award from the British Council. Click here for further information about the eco-social mapping project.  ...
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