The ‘Agropolitan’ approach to development for the Philippines
Ultimately, the agropolitan approach will discourage rural-urban migration through the dispersal of development in regions outside Metro Manila. Creating and opening urban growth centers outside the metropolis will help largely in decongesting it. It will also prevent people from leaving their hometowns to look for that very elusive “greener pasture.”
By Felino A. Palafox, Jr.
November 4, 2015
The urban farming concept should be embraced by Metro Manila if it intends to improve its food resiliency efforts, especially if drought in the agricultural areas occurs. Homes and buildings can very much adopt this. Certain vegetables and fruits such as kangkong, a variety of tomato, eggplant, cabbage, and maybe even garlic, among others, can be grown locally in the community. In working with the urban poor, the indigenous people, and survivors of natural calamities, among others, Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group have incorporated the concept of growing your own food in the design of affordable housing.
Green walls may be used to grow edible plants as well as citronella grass to ward off mosquitoes. With technology, strides in hydroponics, specie variety, and soil nutrition have vastly improved. The government can start making this as part of their agenda in giving ample incentives.
On the other hand, areas specifically Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Cavite, and Laguna should look at how to integrate agropolis concepts to their development. One of the crucial issues that the government should address is to update and properly implement the general land use plan of the city in order to achieve balance between nature and development. The opening of the countryside for agropolitan development can employ barren lands for productive use. This will open more opportunities for jobs, businesses, and tourism potentials.