The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) celebrates the World Architecture Day this October 5 with the vision to bring significant contributions in the development of cities during the pandemic.
With this year’s theme, “Towards a Better Urban Future,” National President Renato A. Heray said that it is vital to focus on who are directly affected by the changing times—the vulnerable and poor sector of the society.
“The vulnerable and underserved sectors are at the receiving end of all these rough changes, as they try to keep food on the table and maintain measly income that they can bring home to their families,” he said.
In cities, Heray noted that the poor are likely to set aside their own safety to survive. Heray noted that clean air, sufficient water, sustainable plans and designs in crowded residential areas in urban communities are not the top priority of the poor. If these are not present, standard health protocols such as regular washing of hands, proper hand hygiene, and strict social distancing may not be observed.
This is where the Filipino architects’ role comes in. Heray pointed out that the challenging times is the best time to hone one’s skill and make a difference in terms of making new urban policies on basic services, shelter, and recreational spaces.
“As architects, we are expected to create urban spaces that bring joy and satisfaction to every human living there,” he said. “It takes careful and meticulous urban planning, topnotch architecture designs, and skillful and knowledge minds behind this vision.”
He encouraged his fellow Filipino architects to bring in urban community solutions that are sustainable, affordable, safe, equitable, and stronger than before for everyone. “I encourage everyone to keep on making urban plans that shall bring forth better quality of life for everyone. In a nutshell, if people are circulating in a space where recreation, livelihood, public services, and safe and healthy shelter are present, more and more people can see a future that is clear and promising.”
For their part as the leading organization of Filipino architects, Heray underscored their commitment to deliver responsible UAP leadership that encourages and cultivates the Filipino architecture talent through their training, services, and Corporate Social Responsibility programs during this pandemic.
UAP, through its chapters and committees consisting of more than 40, 000 Filipino architects, has extended aid in various sectors in rebuilding communities that adapt to the changing times. During the enhanced community quarantine, UAP partnered with both private and public sectors in building quarantine facilities such as the 36-bed community quarantine facility in Malabon City. It has also turned over hundreds of hygiene kits for medical frontliners and COVID-19 patients in San Andres Sports Complex Quarantine Facility and many other health institutions who are in dire need of aid.
Heray said, “UAP believes that as the world faces a pandemic, it is not the time to be divided. UAP shall remain helpful and compassionate to our countrymen, just like what it has always been before this pandemic started.”