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Group works to audit green spaces

A group studying the city’s existing green spaces said it is working with the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) to help audit the city’s existing recreational areas.

This is in the midst of a drafting of the next Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), which starts in 2023.

The current CLUP has a span starting from 2013 to 2022. The succeeding CLUP will span the period of 2023 to 2027.

Lemuel Manalo, environment research specialist of Interface Development Interventions (IDIS), said the study takes effect this year and could include partners in academic institutions such as the University of Mindanao, Ateneo de Davao University, and University of the Philippines Mindanao.

Manalo was a guest at Friday’s twice a month Connect Science + Health and Wellness forum at the SM Lanang Premier Food Hall.

The study aims to map the city’s existing green spaces.

Currently, the city has at least 14.76 hectares of public parks over the total 244,000 hectares in terms of land area.

The plan would address the question of whether Davaoeños are still enjoying at least 9 square meters of green spaces per person, with at least 1.5 million residents here.

“Green spaces” refers to areas institutionalized to provide environmentally sound areas inside the city, alongside its push for growth and development through more infrastructures.

The study also aims to include studies of whether there are existing possible green areas in esplanades, baywalks, and center islands here.

The idea is to provide partners with areas where they can help improve the city’s environmental policies.

Last week, portions of the city were inundated to up-to-knee level floods when heavy rains poured in the middle of an El Nino summer.

Manalo said a New York University study presented to the city government in the past two years has found out that the parks here are relatively small.

“We need large parks,” Manalo said.

The People’s Park, while large, is only three hectares in size.

The group is also pushing to include the Shrine Hills as an institutionalized parks and recreation area, inside its 220 hectares protected as an ecological subzone.

The city is currently working on implementing the Davao City Parks Code.

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