The Magic is in the Mundane: Evolving role of landscape architecture in greening Metro Manila amidst rapid urbanisation

Pasig City Completely Devoid of Trees; Photo by Daphne Oseña-Paez

Pasig City Completely Devoid of Trees; Photo by Daphne Oseña-Paez


“Within its moss-covered walls, hoary with the scars of centuries, are contained a priceless collection of objects of high historic value, beautiful shrines, and age-defying temples – things which the tourist in his search for the strangely new, strangely old, will discover in no other part of the world”. - Daniel O’Connell, 1908

This is a quote from Manila, The Pearl of the Orient, a tourist guide book published i

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Uncovering the possible existence of ‘positive’ gentrification in Singapore

Tiong Bahru Estate by Benjamin Hu

The Tiong Bahru Estate which was the first planned housing estate in Singapore, was conserved in 2003 by the URA. Source: Author’s own.


Singapore is a city-state that has progressed from a small port to be a highly developed and competitive city that is widely recognised in the global economy. To stand in this position today within a short amount of time meant that rapid transformation needed to occur at a monumental scale. A notable example of this transformation is the revitalis

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Possible Implementation of Cittaslow to Urban Centres of the World

Weekly market in Greve in Chianti, a founding city of the Cittaslow movement © A Road Retraveled (Flickr)


The industrialisation of urban landscapes have damaged the identities of many towns and cities, while the desire of many residents to move to larger cities or suburbs has caused urban shrinkage in many smaller urban centres (Matta & Caballero, 2016). In a move to counteract such trends, leaders of small and medium sized towns pledged to improve and maintain a high quality of lif

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Challenges of the Casino and Historic City of Macau: Preserving heritage amidst the creation of stage-set townscapes


PICTURE 1 – Ruins of Saint Paul part of the Historic Center of Macau (© Macao Heritage Board)

“Únde ta vai, quirida? Macau di nôsso coraçám” 

(Where are you going, dear? Macau of our heart - Ferreira, 1996: 223)

Part of a poem written in Língu Maquista, the endangered language of the Macanese


In the last 15 years, Macau has become widely known as a casino city with a bustling gaming industry. Since 1999, it became a Special Administrative Region of China, stretching over a territor

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Pop-Up Urbanism, a Future for Southeast Asia

eric zacharevic 2

One of many Eric Zacharevic murals in Penang. Photo Source:

The urbanisation of metropolitan areas and the character of cities have taken a new dimension in recent years. There is an increasing focus for local residents to have an active role in developing the cities of the world. Such trend is seen as an important step in promoting sustainable practices and improving planning policies in urban areas (Yuen, 2009).  With the emergence of the “Maker Movement” from DIY (Do-It-You

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Fragments of the Past

The Wolf House - Photo source: (Drexler, 1986: 103)

The Wolf House – Photo source: (Drexler, 1986: 103)

“A work of art does not wholly disappear with its physical dissolution. It persists as long as there are people to remember it; people to whom it is of significance even as a memory or as a concept”.

   _ Leo Schmidt

The Wolf House, a modernist villa designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was located in Guben (Today’s Gubin) in Poland which was built in 1926, long before the Second World War. Sadly what remains today from the modern

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Mga Luntiang Lugar (Green Places): Landscape Architects provide farming opportunities for small neighbourhoods in the Philippines

Luntiang Barangay PALA-NCCA, 2014

Community planting. Photo by PALA-NCCA Luntiang Barangay Project Team, 2014.

Landscape Architecture and Sustainability

In a recent write up at The Dirt by the American Society of Landscape Architects, Patricia O’Donnell mentions the possible role that landscape architects can do in helping solve inter-connected problems faced by all. As part of the United Nations new sustainable development agenda formalised last September 2015 in New York, O’Donnell points out that landscape architects could co

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Baubotanik: Botanically Inspired Biodesign

Trees are the tall, quiet guardians of our human narrative. They spend their entire lives breathing for the planet, supporting vast ecosystems, all while providing key services in the form of food, shelter, and medicine. Their resilient boughs both lift the sky and our spirits as well. Their moss aged grandeur stands testament to the shifting times, so much so, that imagining a world without trees is like imagining a world without life.

To move forward then, mankind must not only coexist with na

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Remembering victims under the National Socialist regime in Berlin through creative storytelling

Holocaust Memorial by Roberta CaldasBerlin is said to be a city of ghosts (Ladd, 1997). It has staged the most horrific political regime of the 20th century, which has left traces in the landscape. These traces remain even if the sites of terror have being torn down, reused as something completely different or memorialised in the city. This article will analyse traces of commemoration in urban spaces in Berlin for the victims of the National Socialist (Nazi) regime from 1933 to 1945. It will explore how these victims are remembere

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Landscape Architecture – a profession of ‘place’


It is understood that if you organise a ‘gaggle’ of designers or planners to solve a mutual task, the number of alternative outcomes would be directly proportional to the number of participants – that is, if it was initially agreed amongst the ‘gaggle’ that there were no restrictions on alternative options.   This does not mean that the participants would disagree on the alternative outcomes and that having multiple answers to a design problem is an issu

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Climate change – to adapt or not to adapt? A look at the Dustbin Estate, Ajegunle, Lagos State, Nigeria.

Sustainable development in the African continent and more specifically in Nigeria, has always been threatened by climate change impacts. These impacts will bring about ecosystem degradation and a disruption of the socio economic processes in the country. Lagos is a state in Nigeria which is a world accepted megacity due to its huge population. However, the coastal areas in the state are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts such as increased or heavy rainfall season which will trigger off

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Brief theoretical premise on landscape: definitions, descriptors, actions

In recent decades, landscape has become a central topic in the debate of territory management. The approach to landscape takes necessary multidisciplinary knowledge, which has never been sufficiently clear, trying to respond to that set of actions to ensure the government and to guide and harmonize its variations, caused by social development, economic and environmental processes.

To investigate landscape, therefore, it is possible to define both theoretically and through existing projects, a nu

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Key Features and Possible Benefits of World Heritage Inscription for the Singapore Botanic Gardens

SBG05 by G.Caballero

A close up photo of the beautifully crafted Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Tanglin Gate. Photo by Gabriel Caballero.

Last 4 July 2015, during the 39th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Bonn, Germany, the Singapore Botanic Gardens was successfully inscribed in the prestigious World Heritage List. It was a successful culmination point of three years of preparation work from different government agencies, specialist consultants and heritage conservation groups in Singapore that established the site’s ‘Outstanding Universal Value’. The World Heritage inscription serves as a timely reminder to Singapore that is celebrating 50 years of nationhood, that the remembrance of the past is part of its celebration of the future, where heritage sites and new developments can harmoniously co-exist side by side, as part of the vision of having a City in a Garden.

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The New Whitney + the High Line: A change to the neighbourhood, or too much of a good thing?

The Whitney Museum of American Art opened May 1 2015. It has one of the best green infrastructure addresses: being at the southern end of the High Line, and just south of the contemporary gallery hub in Manhattan, Chelsea, home for high end as well as highbrow contemporary art galleries, not the least being Dia Foundation.
Renzo Piano Building Studio was the architect, producing a building form that presents asheer wall to the Hudson, with expansive views of the Hudson, and lower west side Manha

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Designing Landscapes for Insects

Insects and other invertebrates account for over 90% of all living species, building the basis for most ecosystems. In fact, they often dominate their landscapes through both sheer number and volume, providing many key services, either directly or obliquely, as pollinators, recyclers, pest control and as food for a host of animals.

Keeping this in mind, the responsibilities of the modern design practitioner are more challenging than ever before. Due to the effects of climate change, habitat loss

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Recent Discussions on Cultural Landscapes in the Philippines

Mts. Iglit-Baco is a cultural landscape that has been shaped by centuries of human activity by the Tau-Buid and Buhid Mangyan communities. Copyright: Bojer Capati

The grasslands at the base of Mts. Iglit-Baco has been shaped by centuries of human activity and tamaraw (native buffalo) grazing. Copyright: Bojer Capati.

The world contains a vast variety of landscapes that represent a myriad of regions, cultures, and different approaches of man’s adaptation to the natural world. Since 1992, these particular landscapes were termed as ‘cultural landscapes’, recognised by UNESCO to be the combined works of nature and man. These places give a glimpse of the ev

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IFLA statement on President Obama State of the Union address

The International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) voices its advocacy of the recent statements made by President Barack Obama and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in support of the landscape architecture profession. Emerging from the safety blanket of its 20th-century technological and scientific parameters, landscape architecture is increasingly being recognised as a broad cultural, ecological, and artistic practice. Leading practitioners, understanding that economi

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Landscape Architecture explained through a video produced by the Landscape Institute

Our member association, the Landscape Institute (LI) – the UK professional body for landscape architecture, in a collocation with other partners, created a very interesting animation that explains how important the role of landscape architects is. The animation shows how the liveability of our cities is contingent on all those responsible for designing and managing our cities working with the landscape rather than against it.

Warm greetings for the LI team!

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