Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Ortigas Center: Cruel City
It seems that the planners who designed the Ortigas Center did not think of pedestrians, of ordinary people without cars, when they conceptualized the project. The entire business district is always congested so pedestrians are forced to walk from one office to another when delivering something very urgent. Walking is fine except that the sidewalks are narrow. At the peak of summer, one could easily sweat and stink like a stevedore after just covering 50 meters. When the rains fall, people will just have to run like hell and seek shelter somewhere because the narrow pathways are not covered. I understand the Ortigas family is allocating billions of pesos for further improvements but I haven’t heard something about providing facilities for pedestrians. Haven’t Ortigas’ planners heard about the trend toward “pedestrianisation”? Haven’t they heard something about the “new urbanism”? Haven’t they seen the “sky walk” of the Makati Central Business District that connects offices, parking spaces, and business enterprises thus lessening traffic and protecting pedestrians from the elements?