Monday 26 January 2015

Business Mirror: A new Manila envisioned by students

Photo: Rita Dy, Sylvia Tay, Melissa del Rosario, and Abril Rivera are working together to bring the best Philippine teams of students to a town planning competition in Singapore
MANY foreigners simply see Manila as an entryway to the rest of the Philippines. Upon their arrival at any of the terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, they board a connecting flight that takes them to popular destinations in the Philippines. Manila is simply a transit point from one destination to another. However, the organizers of City Beautiful Manila, Young Mayor Competition, a town planning competition that will be held in Singapore in April 2015, see differently. Rather, they see Manila for what it is: a city rich in cultural heritage that served as the center of life in the Philippines since pre-colonial times.
The Singaporean Activistar Advocacy, a private-sector initiative, hopes to stimulate the minds of students from ages 14 to 20 in visualizing how a particular city should be designed to be sustainable and environment-friendly. Activistar’s CEO Sylvia Tay emphasizes that the future of today’s city lies in the hands of today’s young since they will be assuming important positions in government and industry. Future decisions on how the way people will be living in the future would be in the hands of these students.
This is the fifth year Activistar is holding this town planning competition. In the past years, it has encouraged students to reimagine the cities of Hanoi, Iskandar Johor, and Yangon. Manila was chosen for its vibrancy as a city and its position in the Asian region. The group is now going from school to school, both private and public, announcing the project to students in both high school and collegiate levels. Tay says she hopes to bring at least 10 teams to Singapore for the finals on April 4 and 5, 2015.
The contest has three parts: proposal writing, where teams of 4-6 students will submit a 15-page proposal for prejudging; a multimedia presentation for shortlisted proposals; and 3D model-making. Scores from the three parts will be added to determine the winner. The final two parts of the contest will be held in Singapore. Tay says the competition not only offers students a chance to test their ideas with students from other parts of the world, but it also exposes Manila to the world market as a suitable destination in Asia, one that has numerous attractions that should interest both young and old.
For inquiries about the competition, visit 
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Suzette Jessica

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