public health

Be The Good: Robie Siy on creating streets for people
Be The Good: Robie Siy on creating streets for people
Philippine cities need more open spaces and parks. Are car-free streets the solution? Catch the interview at 7 pm on Friday, December 15.

MANILA, Philippines – Open spaces and public parks improve quality of life in cities, but in Philippine urban hubs like Metro Manila, they are few and far between.

Metro Manila has 5 square meters of green open space per inhabitant, which is below the World Health Organization standard of 9 square meters. According to this “Public Parks and Open Spaces” planning and development guide, the megacity would need green open space the size of Makati and Manila combined to reach that minimum standard.

The Move As One Coalition has long lobbied for the creation of more open spaces for people. In a dense city like Metro Manila, one solution could be to use the streets.

The coalition’s co-convenor Robert Siy speaks to Rappler Community Lead Pia Ranada about best practices in turning streets for cars into streets for people. Are there ways to do this without causing traffic and public confusion? What are the benefits to local governments and local economies?

Siy also talks about an August 2023 joint administrative order signed by several government agencies, including the Department of Health, that pushes for parks and open spaces.

In this “Be The Good” episode, Rappler’s Digital Communications team also provides an overview of what online sentiment is on the idea of closing off streets and turning them into small parks. Do people support it? What are people saying about existing peoples’ streets initiatives?

Catch the interview on Friday, December 15, at 7 pm!

“Be The Good” is Rappler’s show about causes, campaigns, and advocacies. We help you get smarter about causes you want to support. –

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