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ReImagining the Filipino City through the lens of Environmental Planners

The Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP), the national professional organization of licensed environmental planners (EnP), will hold its 24th National Convention at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center, Benavidez corner Trasierra Streets, Makati City.

Given the mandate to promote and ensure the professional development of national and local planners, and pursue related policy and advocacies on sustainable development, PIEP conducts an annual National Convention which is attended by its members, as well as other professionals and aspiring environmental planners.

According to EnP Larisa Togonon-De Castro, PIEP President, “this year, PIEP is committed to engage delegates through an energizing and informative program of speakers. With the theme Reimagining the Filipino City, five relevant topics will be presented through panel sessions that bring together EnPs and experts in various fields, as well as advocates, policy makers and program implementers from the public and private sectors.”


Lara Togonon -De Castro, President,
Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners
The Filipino Identity session is an opportunity to reflect on characteristics of the city dweller, with focus on Filipino culture and heritage. 

It aims to examine the foundations that influence how Filipinos shape their city, and how we can build on—or challenge—them in the pursuit of inclusive, resilient, safe and sustainable communities. 

Among the speakers for this session are Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje Jr, Ateneo de Manila University Professor and PH NatCom for UNESCO’s Dr. Fernando Zialcita, and Tomeldan, Allia and Molina Planners or TAM’s EnP Michael Tomeldan.




In the panel session entitled (Re)defining Sustainable Development for Filipino Cities, UN Habitat’s Chris Rollo, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council or HUDCC’s Avellino Tolentino III and EnP Veronica Arcilla will share fresh approaches to sustainable development, recognizing global frameworks while advancing a distinct Filipino perspective to urban planning and development policies and practices.

A session is also dedicated for Mobility and the City to tackle access, transport, and mobility. Led by panelists Department of Transportation and Communications senior adviser, Mr. Robert Siy, UP School of Urban and Regional Planning’s former dean, Dr.Primitivo Cal, and Inclusive Mobility’s Julia Nebrija. EnPs will reflect on the current state of transport in the Philippines as an integral part of urban development, as well as opportunities and directions for the future.

The speakers of the Planning Tools for the Future: Data Democracy and Urban Planning session will discuss technologies, approaches, and best practices to equip planners with relevant tools that are critical in achieving sustainable development goals. 


Ms. Giann Karla Gaoiran will present the action plan of Open Data Philippines. Sudesh Mudaliar will share about the Flood Modeling tool of XP Solutions, and Mr. Sunil M K will discuss how Autodesk has been working on Mapping for Smart Cities around the world. Autodesk is PIEP’s co-presenter of the 2015 PIEP national convention.

Six students from Grades 10-11 of Singapore School of Manila won this year’s Young Mayor’s Competition. They bested several schools from around Asia with their proposals for the City of Manila. They will be opening the session on Alternative Urban Futures. The final session presents an array of alternative futures for the Filipino City, incorporating culture, innovation, technology and sustainability. 


Among the panelists for this session are: Environmental Planner and Architect Joel Luna of Ayala Land, EnP Architect Mark de Castro of EnPraxis-LUGAR, and BCDA President, Atty. Arnel Casanova. Dr. Mary Racelis of the Institute of Philippine Culture rounds up the full day of discussion.

PIEP Vice President and Convention Chairperson, Karima Patricia Palafox reveals that “during the National Convention, PIEP will offer the unique opportunity to connect licensed environmental planners who work in government, non-government, and private sectors, and to facilitate opportunities for partners through an interactive exhibition and a program of social events.”

Among the National Convention’s major output is the Call to Action which translates PIEP’s advocacies into a collective approach to sustainable development 
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