NY University, UN to study parks, green spaces in Davao City

NEW York University (NYU) Urban Expansion Program in Collaboration with United Nations (UN) will study Davao City's public parks and green spaces starting Friday, May 19 until May 24.

NYU head researcher Patrick Lamson-Hall, during I-Speak media conference held at the Davao City Hall, said the city was chosen for the project for its rapid growth in terms of development and infrastructure. The study is funded by NYU with a budget of $10,000.

"We are piloting the methodology of our study in Davao City. If it is successful then it will be rolled out to all the cities all over the world," Hall said.

Hall said that their study will involve visiting different public spaces in the city, analyzing the need of improvement and establishment, and creating an advocacy that encourages the stakeholders to participate in the formation of a greener city.

He said he hopes to effectively assist the improvement and utilization of existing public spaces at the same time encourage local government and private land owners to invest in new public open spaces for a greener Davao by 2050.

Interface Development Interventions (Idis) acting executive director Chinkie PeliƱo-Golle said once the result of the study is gathered, she will head the policy recommendation that they hope will be ratified by the mayor's office and City Council.

The city, Golle said, will benefit from the study since in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan there is an additional 10 percent green space into the 30 percent open space in the city for 2013 to 2022.

"Our city has 40,000 hectares of urban area and only 14.76 hectares were publicly managed," she said.

Golle said they will present the result of their study to the city mayor and some councilors on May 24.

The study is supported by Idis, Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro), Sustainable Davao Movement and Office of the City Mayor. Hall will be assisted by six students from NYU School of Business for the study.

Golle said 40 volunteers from Ateneo de Davao University, University of South Eastern Philippines and University of Mindanao will also join the whole research team on the duration of their study for the data gathering.

"If this is successful, Davao will be the first city in the world that will monitor the sustainable development goal in a way that can be reported to international agencies," Hall said.