MANILA, Philippines – Now more than ever, livable cities must mean resilient cities. The devastation that rocked the Visayas in the latter part of 2013 following the Bohol earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda shows the need for systems and infrastructure that can withstand nature's growing wrath. (READ: Over 370,000 in Bohol evacuate due to earthquake)
On March 11, the Asia Society and the Urban Land Institute held the Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI) forum with rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, Indonesian Senior Minister Kuntoro Mangkusubroto and former Christchurch, New Zealand mayor Bob Parker. Together they discussed the measures needed to ensure urban living spaces don't fall apart under the onslaught of floods, tremors, and heavy rains. The PCSI drew from the experiences of Pacific Rim cities, zeroing in on sustainability in the face of disasters.
In the Philippines, Yolanda one of the world's most powerful cyclones, results in alarming numbers from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (as of January): P15.75 billion in damages to roads, bridges and other structures, P1.65 billion in agricultural infrastructure, 6,201 dead and 1,785 missing. (READ: In Numbers: 100 days after Yolanda)
Lacson said he aims to complete the rehabilitation of Visayas by June 2016. He looks to Mangkusubroto's experience of holding near-absolute authority as an ideal situation. (READ: Lacson: Weak powers make rehab harder)
Is centralizing the rehab effort the key? How do we go beyond stop-gap measures in addressing damage caused by calamities? What can the people of Visayas expect from rehabilitation efforts?
Watch the highlights of the event below.
Follow updates via our liveblog below.