a little bit better

Jan Gehl, one of the most effective urban planners and urban theorists alive, has this advice about dealing with the seemingly overwhelming challenge of changing our cities:

Take it one step at a time.

Check the video above (a segment from Contested Streets) about the success of Copenhagen. Says Gehl:

It's really wonderful to live in a city where everyday, when you wake up in the morning, you realize that today the city is a little bit better than yesterday.


What they've done in this city is they taken little steps every year for forty years and (now) there is a fantastic difference between what it was then and what it is now.

One day at a time. Little steps over decades.

It would be impossible to "solve" Metro Manila overnight. But we can do it over time.


Bea said...

Wow... Thanks for this :)

I'll try to subtitle it in Filipino (http://stormberry.tv/blog/?p=4) as soon as I can.

Things like this are especially useful when you're talking to smaller cities outside Metro Manila.

Vanessa said...

That's an inspiring thought, truly.

Peter said...

It makes sense that change to cities are slow and gradual and so far our cities have been changing slowly over time. Traffic is not as bad as it were, roads are slowly getting overhauled, cities are upgrading signs, planting trees, changing slowly but still changing. Here's hoping that it turns out for a better Metro in the years to come.

Anonymous said...

chances like those, i surmise, are a thousand two hundred and fifty-four to one.

Peter said...

Welcome back!

here's some guys pushing for a little bit better:


so while BF's bikelane Project seems to have been succesfull in Marikina only , some people haven't stopped trying!

Urbano dela Cruz said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone and my apologies for the lagging reply. Been busy preparing for this project (master planning for the five zoos).

Bea, did you get a chance to subtitle it? Would love to learn more about your work with the smaller cities. It is so important to get their growth and planning right.

Essa, I hope the inspiration is infectious.

Thanks, Peter. I'm not quite fully back, as is obvious.

The firefly brigade has been around for quite a while, and I have great hopes for their efforts. Who knows, maybe we can have our own version of the Velib soon.

Anonymous, "chances" of what? I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean. You mean the chance for a better metro manila?


civicbooster said...

I'm excited about this www.firelybrigade.org

Sali ako sa January lang when it will be a bit cooler. Our weather is not like Denmark where you can cycle under the sun,not break a sweat and arrive at the office still smelling fresh as a Johnson's powder baby.

I am following this community too http://planetzips.multiply.com/. They fill in urban spaces, aesthetically and healthily.

Peter said...

no problem, VELIB hehe hopefully, we may need to raise the income levels first at baka por kilo to ng mga rubgy boys hehe

i think the bike lanes are getting a big boost with the gas prices, i saw on tv other groups pushing for alternative means including bikes! and the lack of lanes was mentioned.

urbano it may seem that the price of oil may be the big game changer in remaking cities!:)

btw civic i've seen the zip girls before am not sure how they "fill in" urban spaces ???

Jose Dennio P. Lim Jr. said...

I really hope to see a better Metro Manila in the future. And it would be better too if it is not just the urban landscape that would be change as well as the attitude of the people living here.

I would also love to see our esteros and river systems full of life.

Great blog. I just came across this one which searching for a nice picture of Pasig River. Well, I really find your blog interesting and hope to see more from you. :)

K-Kix said...

Hi! I am still hopeful...and we continue to try and do our part.

My husband and I and our 3 kids bike to work/school, to the grocery, to the bank etc -- a lot of people ask me if I am not afraid for myself or for my kids with the many reckless drivers in Manila and I say "yes, I have my fears but I don't want that to stop us from doing what we can"

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