In my youth, I always fantasized about master planning a city. I always felt that Metro Manila was just not "efficient" or organized well for that matter. This is one reason I've always been taken in by games like Simcity. I get to design my own city. Just think about the MRT. Although the trains are always jampacked, do you find that it really gets you around? I don't. In my personal situation, it's not efficient. In order for me to get to the MRT, I need a driver to get me there. And until lately, park & ride is not a reality. If we had efficient transportation, would we need all the buses cramming EDSA? Would we even see all the cars? This brings up another point. Is it really efficient to have millions of people commuting to Makati on a daily basis?
So how can it be better? Obviously, Metro Manila can't be built from scratch again. I have a couple of thoughts that somehow relate to this. I think it's better to bullet them.
- Come up with a master plan as if Metro Manila is brand new. Slowly buy tracts of land and redevelop them as part of a whole. It's a dream of course, since we can't assume the current land owners will sell in the name of progress. But if they did, the land can be redeveloped with trees back in the mix. Where are all the trees in Manila?
- Design new areas of commerce. Let's say for example, we have a major land area filled with squatters. Why not train them in something like soap making or chair building? Then the local government will allocate a tract of land for the trade of these handicrafts. Why do that? If you have a one handicraft person selling, it's not enticing. He has to go to a location with traffic. If you have four streets selling chairs, that will create the traffic. It's like creating a new Greenhills or Banawe. Place X will be known for Product Y. Thus, the people living there will have a trade that can work.