BEING one of the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, Marikina City has been chosen by a pioneering research program on building sustainable and resilient cities in the Philippines.
The study, a first in the Asia-Pacific region, was organized by Pilipinas Shell together with multisectoral stakeholders, such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, League of Cities of the Philippines, as well as some non-governmental organizations.
The city resilience study revealed challenges and opportunities that can enhance Marikina’s economic potential, livability and resiliency against urbanization and climate change, according to Suiee Suarez, Shell global campaign manager for Future of Energy.
“It was a product of intensive engagement that identified the challenges of the city and resulted in a better understanding of its needs,” Suarez explained.
The study follows a research publication on urbanization and resiliency dubbed “New Lenses on Future Cities,” which Shell unveiled during its annual Powering Progress Together (PPT) Forum–Asia held in Manila in 2014. The report reviewed 500 cities around the globe with more than 750,000 inhabitants, as well as 21 megacities with over 10 million inhabitants in order to understand various energy uses that would support city planning and development.
The PPT is a global dialogue on sustainable development fostered by Shell that engages thought-leaders and action-makers from the public, private and civil-society sectors. With its work in scenario-building for more than 40 years, Shell is studying cities to better understand challenges and opportunities posed by urbanization, one of which is developing resilience to various stresses.
The joint study highlighted five fundamental challenges that could hinder Marikina City’s potential for growth and sustainability which are: affordable and dependable electricity; road and public transport infrastructure; waste management; flood management; and governance and coordination implementation.
An integrated solution was also provided in the study to help the city government and its constituents develop a more “green,” resilient and sustainable city. From the five identified challenges, the range of solutions proposed are the use of a distributed energy system integrating alternative and conventional power systems inside the city; efficient transport utilizing compressed natural gas or liquified natural gas technology with corresponding road networks; waste management, recovery and recycling that includes waste-to-power options, flood management
and implementation of sustainable projects.