NI MADE WENES WIDIYANI
KHATUN E. ZANNAT
This year’s task in the frames of the DRIA design competition is focused on the challenges that Valenzuela City in the Philippines currently faces. Valenzuela City is a part of Metro Manila, located at the north-eastern part of the Manila Bay. The whole area is characterized by the negative consequences of rapid urbanization processes, which have occurred in the last decades.
The character of Valenzuela is dominated by many fish ponds, which are used for industrial aquaculture. To implement the fish ponds, the city government has removed protective mangrove forests over the last 50 years (Janssen, 1999: 297).
Today, the whole area is highly vulnerable to hazards, especially flooding from the inland rivers. A detailed analysis of Metro Manila’s flooding problems has allowed us to identify significant challenges regarding the overall watershed management, which also means that the problem is not only addressing Valenzuela City. Although the citizens of the affected areas have constructed protection dams and floodgates in order to prevent the river flooding the city, these measures have only improved the situation locally and for the short term. As the flooding mainly comes from the inland rivers, to improve the situation for the whole area it is necessary to deal with the whole watershed, in a bigger scale. For these reasons, one of the main problems that we analysed is the watershed management of Manila, which is the reason why we approached the problem from a bigger scale in our project.
Our group’s vision is to upgrade the resilience of the people in the whole Polo area and thus provide better living conditions up to the La Mesa Dam. At the same time our goal is to reintegrate the nature into the city. We propose the implementation of a big park connecting La Mesa Dam following the Tulahan River, the Polo River, Meycuayan and Marilo Rivers with the new Eco Reservoir. This park should, on one side, satisfy the needs for recreation, and on the other side, it would become an integral measurement to reduce the amount of water in the Polo River. Different actions will be implemented from upstream to downstream flows, with the aim to stabilize the whole area, as we propose through the SAFE concept. In the name of our competition entry, each letter represents a pillar of the concept we are proposing:
Sustainable. Accessible. Flexible. Ecological.