Manila’s Roxas Boulevard to be given a face lift
by FFE PH News staff
A revival of one of Manila’s major thoroughfare Roxas Boulevard is underway. Urban designer Paulo Alcarazen revealed a plan for the boulevard that will make the street bike- and pedestrian-friendly.
Alcazaren and his firm PGAA Creative Design’s plan was bared on August 15 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila. The project is seen to improve the whole 10km stretch, from Del PanBridge to MIAA Road. More than 80 stakeholders attended the meeting. The redevelopment comes as a preparation for the Philippines’ hosting of the 2014 World Economic Forum on East Asia and 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
Roxas Boulevard at night
The Department of Budget Management has already released 250 million pesos for the project to be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways. Manila City Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada has already approved the project and tapped architect Dennis Lacina of the Manila Planning Office and Carlos Celdran of the Manila Tourism Office to coordinate with Alcazaren’s team.
The redevelopment seeks to “bring pride of place back to the capital,” said Alcazaren. He added that initiatives for Intramuros and RizalPark will revive the historic district of Manila and regain its status as the Pearl of the Orient. Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said that the beautification project will also improve business by 5 to 10 percent in 2 to 5 years and mend Manila’s consistent traffic problems.
Alcazaren’s previous projects include Ayala Avenue and Iloilo Esplanade. The following features were included in his proposed redevelopment for the boulevard:
- Lanes and paths for bikes and pedestrians along entire length boulevard
- Safer and more business-friendly environment that will encourage investors to build high-value developments that will bring life back to the waterfront
- 100 hectares of linear park to address the lack of greenery open to the public
- New soil; more trees will be planted
- Service road converted into commercial or shopping street lined with cafés
- Zero or strictly controlled billboards
- Monuments and statues relocated to more appropriate areas along the boulevard to improve their visibility and prominence
- ManilaBay highlighted as one of its most magnificent natural attributes
- Privateland and building owners organized into an association similar to Makati Commercial Estate Association (MACEA) and Ortigas Center Association Inc (OCAI).
Ironically, the basis for the design are Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive and Singapore’s East Coast Parkway, which were modelled after the original design of Roxas Boulevard by American urban designer Daniel Burnham.