Or why environmentalists should learn
to love Metro Manila
Do you consider yourself an environmentalist? Do you like the great outdoors and natural landscapes? Do you want to preserve them? -- Then you should be concerned about our cities and should be committed to making them better places to live:
The NYT's Dot Earth blog neatly sums up the reasons why:
Urban life can be productive and satisfying and is almost always much more efficient in terms of energy and land use. Families are smaller. Incomes can rise quicker. Wealth builds from the concentration of capital and enterprise. Pollution is concentrated, too, but that makes it easier to clean up once incomes grow enough to pay for municipal services. (That hasn’t happened yet in many developing-country cities.) -emphasis added- UDC
The post that comes from is about managing traffic in an urban age but that one paragraph should be read and re-read by every pinoy environmentalist.
Environmentalism is so often associated with pastoral or naturalistic scenes; with climbing Mt. Apo, Pinatubo or Makiling; with swimming with the whale sharks in Donsol or with diving and exploring the Tubataha reefs. But, sustainability must begin with cities. If we can manage our land consumption and clean up our cities, we will do so much more towards protecting our environment.
Next time you and your friends plan on an environmental education trek, don't bother to drive out all the way to the countryside. Plan a walking tour of your local metropolis, instead. And then ask yourselves, "What can we do to make life in the city more livable? What can we do to make Philippine urban development more sustainable?"