June 4, 2023

Summer Capital’s limited land area for development and unique characteristics, local government must conserve Baguio’s views while reducing density in its central business district  via “growth nodes” in suburban areas.

This was encapsulated in a View Cone Analysis (VCA) presented by City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) coordinator Donna Tabangin during the management committee meeting on Dec. 14.

A VCA, Tabangin said, analyzes and determines what is seen from a particular point, range of vision or extent of visibility like having an unhampered view of the downtown area, for example.

“The city’s urban sprawl must be reduced due to limited land available for development and consider vertical construction like taller buildings that don’t impact protected view corridors,” Tabangin said.

She said that the ridges of the city’s seven hills are still maintained as forest or green zones because of their economic and cultural importance, historical significance and in conformity with zoning and development plans started by Arch. Daniel Burnham in the early 20th century.

The technology and expertise are available to determine consolidated and integrated areas where multi-story structures, even high-rises, can be safely constructed to save on the city’s limited geography and protect open spaces, the official added.

Tabangin said that currently under VCA are Burnham Park, Baguio City Hall, Baguio Convention Center, Baguio Cathedral, Baguio Museum, Session Road, and St. Joseph Church.

As to the growth nodes that seek to decongest the central business district, around five mini-CBDs are planned to be developed all over Baguio along its circumferential roads, she said.

“These will make it possible for residents to not necessarily go to the city center for basic services and reduce the area’s congestion density of people and traffic woes,” Tabangin said. – Gaby B. Keith