By Johannes L. Chua
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What would life be like in the following days? Is it a “whole new world” where grass is greener, air is fresher, and the streets are cleaner? Or is it just the same-old-world where stress, pollution, and traffic are part of life?
For whatever it’s worth, it is free to imagine an ideal world—a world which has learned its lessons after the pandemic, where environmentalism reigns over commercialization, where people are physically and mentally healthier from spaces which promote fitness and community camaraderie.
Manila Bulletin Lifestyle has invited architectural agency Plontur, headed by founder, design director, and landscape architect Erick Yambao, and composed of John Aguilar, Sid Desuasido, Diego Gonzalez, Brent Balasbas, and Philip Samoza, to help us visualize what an ideal post-Covid community could be. Yambao says he sees an ideal world anchored on four pillars—where people are the “center” of planning, where arts and design are part of everyday living, where greens dominate the urbanscape, and where data and technology are used to enhance lives.
Some of Plontur’s “suggestions” have become a reality, as seen in the opening of new bike lanes, physical distancing on the MRT and LRT, and the use of acrylic partition walls at restaurants. But it still remains to be seen if these new normal adjustments—plus the other suggestions which will make living in the metro a utopia of sorts—will stay on and transform our way of life or merely become part of our collective imagination for a better post-pandemic world.

Source: Manila Bulletin (