July 18, 2024

The City Planning and Development Office is looking at technological, architectural, and engineering alternatives in re-greening the city if natural re-vegetation activities are no longer possible.

Encouraging the conversion of residential and commercial building rooftops or their vertical facades into urban gardens is being considered as one way of “getting back” land occupied by settlements into green spaces.

In a media forum last Sept. 29, CPDO head Arch. Donna Tabangin cited the city’s ongoing survival garden program spearheaded by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office and the Department of Agriculture where they provided free vegetable seeds to interested residents.

The program also urged residents to transform any available space they have into land or container gardens as supplemental food sources.

“We should all return to our gardening roots. As we became urban dwellers, many have forgotten the time in the past when we were good at planting or gardening,” Tabangin said.

She estimated the city’s current ratio of green spaces to areas with built-up structures at “50-50,” but pointed out that the ideal percentage should be at least “60-40” where 60 percent are green spaces.

Baguio has a limited land area with an ever-growing population density, necessitating creative ways of recouping its green spaces, Tabangin said.

A World Health Organization report stated urban green spaces are essential to human wellbeing, both physically and emotionally, where people in cities with more parks and gardens have a better quality of life than those who live surrounded by high levels of pollution. – Gaby Keith