Caught (up) in traffic

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On urban planning resources or references for the pandemic

I am posting for reference this article compiling helpful references for urban planning in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the references listed are based on the US experience and I am sure there is already a wealth of information coming from other countries as well including those that have been successful in mitigating the effects of the pandemic.

Brasuell, J. (2020) “Urban Planning Resources for COVID-19”, Planetizen, https://www.planetizen.com/node/109238?utm_source=newswire&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news-05142020&mc_cid=2e155996b6&mc_eid=9ccfe464b1 [Last accessed: 5/16/2020]

 

Article on housing and transportation

Here’s another excellent piece from Todd Litman about the dynamics of housing and transportation. This is a very relevant topic in many cities today and especially so for those like Metro Manila, which is struggling with issues pertaining to affordable housing and transportation infrastructure and services. Arguably, a lot of households are spending more than the 45% threshold of incomes mentioned in the article but people continue to get homes away from the city as these are relatively cheaper than those closer to their workplaces and schools. Unfortunately, transportation costs are on the rise and congestion and a lack of an efficient transport system are among the culprits for what many have already labelled as undignified and atrocious costs of commuting.

Litman, T. (2018) “Affordability Trade-Offs,” planetizen.com,¬†https://www.planetizen.com/node/99920?utm_source=newswire&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news-08092018&mc_cid=e2a69b6eb4&mc_eid=9ccfe464b1 [Last accessed: 8/9/2018]

I envy the guy for being able to present these topics clearly. It is a complex subject and one that isn’t understood by many in government who are supposed to be responsible for crafting and implementing policies and programs to address issues pertaining to affordable housing and commutes. I wonder if Todd is coming over for the ADB Transport Forum. He’s make for a good resource person in some of the sessions there and perhaps can also be invited to speak about this and other relevant and urgent topics in a separate forum. Anyone out there care to sponsor him?

Suggested reading on affordable housing and transit

I had written before about opportunities with the construction of the LRT Line 2 Extension along Marcos Highway and the MRT Line 7 along Commonwealth Avenue, Regalado Avenue and Quirino Avenue. There is a nice article that came out last April 28, 2016 at the Mobility Lab site:

Affordable housing and transit should go hand-in-hand

I am afraid though that despite the developments further north of the Line 7 alignment, it seems land values have increased thereabouts. This means homes there will likely be as expensive as those near the city center. Only, the residential units in Caloocan and San Jose Del Monte are low density (e.g., single detached houses) and not  medium to high density (e.g., walk-ups, condominiums). The government should have also invested in land and residential developments like how Singapore did it. HDB-type developments could have made the difference in as far as prices and rent are concerned. This could likely made it more affordable to workers seeking homes to purchase or rent near transit stations.