LGU, UN-Habitat forge pact on ASUD project PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 May 2015 08:29

Zamboanga City and the UN-Habitat on Friday forged a memorandum of understanding for sustainable and conflict-sensitive city development in a program called Achieving Sustainable Urban Development (ASUD).

Mayor Beng Climaco and UN Habitat-Philippines Country Representative Christopher Rollo spearheaded the signing ceremonies held in Makati City Friday morning with Spanish Ambassador Luis Antonio Calvo Castaño, Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID) General Coordinator Vicente Selles, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Secretary General Usec. Cecilia Alba and United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Terence Jones as witnesses.

ASUD promotes planned city extensions (PCE) as a proactive response to urban growthand an alternative to fringe expansion characterized by sprawling, segregated, and poorly connected developments.

Zamboanga City joins Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Silay cities in tapping UN Habitat support in developing a city plan that significantly factors peace building and the resettlement of people displaced by conflict.

Portions of Barangay Mercedes and Zambowood (approximately 600 hectares) have been identified by local government as the extension site as well as the location for Zamboanga’s new airport.

With financial support from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), UN-Habitat will be working closely with Zamboanga’s city planning office and other concerned government agencies and stakeholders in developing a mixed-use plan for the Mercedes-Zambowood PCE area, which is adjacent to the site of the proposed new airport. The plan aims to include socialized housing, which should be able to help address the projected population growth and the current housing backlog due to internal displacement and vulnerability to environmental hazards, and create connectivity, not just spatially but also in terms of economic opportunities and social integration.

UN-Habitat started the implementation of ASUD in the Philippines in 2012 with 3 pilot cities Silay, Iloilo, and Cagayan de Oro. Over the course of the project, UN-Habitat has worked closely with local government in coming up with long-term city extension plans that substantially consider urban design that promotes connectivity, mobility, and inclusiveness; economic and financial strategies that would enable and support the planned expansion; and the legal framework that makes these plans viable and attainable.

Since 2012, UN-Habitat has conducted several mission visits to the pilot cities for city-level coaching and technical assistance, helped create the project steering committees and technical working groups in each city, held planning workshops for the identified city extension sites, and embedded full-time coordination support in the city technical working groups. — Sheila Covarrubias/ UN Habitat PR