NYU experts to study Davao open spaces

Researchers from New York University Urban Expansion Program will conduct a new method on studying public parks and green spaces in Davao City that will help in the future developments of the city.

Davao City is representing Asia in the study, along with 200 other cities to help the United Nations measure the urban component of the Sustainable Development Goals

Patrick Lamson-Hall, head of the NYU research team, said the study aims to produce digital maps of all public parks and open spaces in the city and assess the quality of these places and their usability for different sectors.

“Davao City is a rapid-growing city and it’s a city that has potential for public open spaces. In our assessment of Davao, we have looked at existing public open spaces and we intend to complement that with a survey on the ground that will let us know not just the area in hectares of the public open space but also the kinds of amenities that they have, how well these amenities are well-maintained, what kinds of accessibilities and uses they are being put to. This will allow us to say something about the public open spaces that Davao has today and we would also know that as a rapid growing city, Davao will know what how to prepare for the future, what kind of public spaces Davao will need.”

Hall also said this study is critical in the preservation of environment, for promotion of human health and promote environmental infrastructure functions.

According to Interface Development Interventions Acting Director Chinkie Peliño-Golle this research will help in making Davao City a green and livable city.

“We have campaigned hard for the retention of 10 per cent green space requirement for every hectare of land development in the city. We are pleased that Davao City has gained international attention and was chosen to represent the country and Asia as a pilot for the assessment of our open spaces,” Golle said during the Ispeak Conference on Thursday.

She also added that IDIS is hoping that the results of the study will help as a guide for Davao City in achieving its targets of 500 square meters of public spaces per 1,000 population by 2021 according to the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

The research team headed by Hall, together with students from the Stern University School of Business in NYU, will train members of the Sustainable Davao Movement, City government officials and other volunteers to conduct the actual data gathering for the study on May 20-21. On May 24, they will be presenting the findings of their research.

Davao City was selected for Asia along with Vallendupar, Columbia to represent Latin America and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to represent Sub-Saharan Africa.