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Urban Agriculture in Naga City

Urban Agriculture in Naga City

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Published by: Green Action Sustainable Technology Group on Jul 23, 2010
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Urban Agriculture in Naga City
Cultivating Sustainable Livelihoods
Planning Report for Naga City Council
June 2007
Kathryn Hill, Department of Geography, UBCDee Dee Quinnelly, School of Community and Regional Planning, UBCKaitlin Kazmierowski, School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC
The report you are about to read waswritten by MA-level graduate students andsubmitted to the Naga City Governmentand relevant stakeholder groups topartially fulfill the requirements in PLAN548H – Planning Studio Course inParticipatory Planning and Governance.This was a graduate program courseoffered at the School of Community andRegional Planning (SCARP) at the Universityof British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver,Canada and conducted in the summer of2007 in Naga City. The course offering wasa first in many ways. It was the first fieldstudio course at SCARP offered in thePhilippines. The course description, outlineand schedule of activities were developedwith Naga City Planning Division, other Cityofficials, and the Ateneo de Naga Centrefor Local Governance. It also benefitedfrom students’ feedback and assessment ofinitial interests. The topics of the finalgroup report assignments were decidedafter the first class meeting with Naga CityMayor, Hon. Jesse Robredo, who outlinedhis City’s strategic planning priorities andhis hopes of what the UBC students can doas he puts it, in helping “reinvent Citygovernance.”
Why a Studio Course in ParticipatoryPlanning and Governance?
Professional planners-in-training needexposure and experience in the challengesthat face many developing countries. Thetransnational flows of people, ideas,services, movements and goods around theworld make those challenges almostuniversal in character, if not in dimensionand scale. Planning is inextricably andorganically linked with governance.Planning practices depend much onpolitical institutions, guiding policies,procedural rules and programs that areshaped by governance practices andcultures. A studio course design optimizesthe learning and teaching of lessonsderived from the real world of planning-governance nexus. Hence, the course wasdesigned to be experiential, dialogic,interactive, and community-based. It wasstructured as a mutual learning experimentfor students and the Naga City planners,officials, and residents.Thus, the course general learningobjectives for the twenty Canadian andinternational graduate students were to:
Understand and appreciate the realworld of planning challenges in adeveloping country;
Provide meaningful inputs to NagaCity planning processes andimplementation plans;
Create a new generation ofplanners who bring in theirthoughtful analytical skills intocreative and practical solutions.
Bring lessons from Naga City andthe Philippines as a whole toplaces, sites and cultures in theirfuture planning work.More specifically, the students wereexpected to be able to:
Provide sustainable, low-cost andeffective recommendations topromote good change in Naga City;
Demonstrate and apply theirinterdisciplinary planning skills inlocal governance issues;
Write thoughtful and well-researched planning reports thatNaga City officials and staff, as wellas community groups, can use intheir current and future work.
Why a Studio Course in Naga City?
Naga is a mid-size city of 150,000 residentsin Bicol region, central Philippines. It isinternationally and nationally renowned asamong the “best practices” in good localgovernance in the Philippines and in thedeveloping world. Naga City has maximizedthe opportunities for governance reform,local capacity building, and improveddelivery of basic services created by
political decentralization under the LocalGovernment Code. Since 1988, Naga Cityhas been creating and implementingvarious mechanisms to involve localorganized groups, particularly from themarginalized sectors of society, ingoverning the city. Its City Governmenthas been working closely with highlyfunctional People’s Council and variousother Councils, Committees, SpecialBodies, and Task Forces to deal with localgovernance issues – from social housing forthe poor to creating sustainable socialenterprises, from addressing school boardgovernance to using new informationcommunication technologies in creatingcloser relations between the people andthe city government. This long history ofpublic engagement and capable leadershipcontinuity make Naga City an ideal andproductive laboratory for examining thepromises and challenges of democratizingplanning in a rapidly growing and complexcity environment.
Caveats and Constraints
The following is one of six Planning Reportssubmitted to the City Government. The sixreports are:(1)
Quality Universal Public Education(2)
Youth Development Planning(3)
Urban Agriculture(4)
Investment Promotion(5)
Transportation, and(6)
Social Housing for the Urban PoorEach of these reports were developed inclose consultation with the courseinstructor and the relevant City Officials,as the students went about framing theirresearch questions, identifying their dataneeds, doing interviews, leading focusgroups, collecting and analyzing data, andwriting the final drafts that served as basesof the students’ public presentations to theCity on June 6 and 7. As there are somegroups that have more members thanothers, and as each of the groups wentabout developing its own methodologicaland analytical frameworks suited to theirtopics, it is expected that there will besome variations and diversity in their finaloutputs. The research and writing thatwent in the preparation of these reportsspanned only a period of three weeks, fromMay 17 to June 7. More time and moreconsultations would have greatly improvedthe quantity and quality of our data andanalysis. We did the best that we canunder the limited circumstances, and weapologize for any mistakes, gaps inanalysis, and oversights that our reportsmay have. We provide our insights andrecommendations without any stringsattaches or expectation that they will beadopted by the CityWithout pre-empting the acknowledgmentof each of the reports, I join my studentsin thanking the Naga City Government,particularly its Planning Division DirectorWilfredo Prilles, Jr. and his Staff; MayorJesse Robredo; the Directors and Staff ofthe City Agriculture, City Environment andNatural Resources, City Engineers, CityHealth, City Tourism and City SocialWelfare and Development Offices, theLocal School Board members; the CityDivision of the Department of Education,the City Investment Board, and the NagaCity People’s Council. We thank all ourguest speakers, guides and key informantsfrom the above Offices; Dr Danny Geronaand Atty Sol Santos; Mr George Abonal,Principal of Ateneo de Naga High School; FrJoel Tabora SJ, President of Ateneo deNaga University; ADNU Head Librarian Ednaand Dr Malu Barcillano, her Staff andstudent volunteers at Ateneo Centre forLocal Governance; the municipal andbarangay officials of Pamplona, CamarinesSur; and the staff of the Naga City YouthCentre. We thank all Naga residents for thewarm hospitality, generosity andenthusiasm they showed us.
Dios mabalospo, at mabuhay kayong lahat sa Naga!
 Leonora C. AngelesAssociate ProfessorSchool of Community and Regional PlanningUniversity of British ColumbiaNaga City, Philippines, June 7, 2007

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