In relation to a previous post, I plan to take up urban planning next semester as it has piqued my interest so much.
Looking through the streets of Quezon City gives you that feeling that there was a plan for the city. Commonwealth Avenue, the widest road in the Philippines, was not wide just because they wanted to widen it recently, it was already in the plans way back.
There are at least three long stretches of wide straight roads that are occupied by informal settlers and thus could not be converted into avenues that would help decongest the traffic. One of them is Republic Avenue and it is painful to see that it had to be a crooked road because it had to navigate through that sea of informal settlers.
It is interesting how the current mayor (in his last term [sad]) is trying to solve this. In 2003, he pushed for the creation of the Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (HURA). HURA has built around five high-rise (5-storey) buildings to house the informal settlers. When I read these reports I suddenly feel that there is hope for the Philippines.
Much needs to be done and the involvement of everybody, I believe, is important. It's just frustrating how noble intentions could be thwarted by selfishness.