Manila: Starved For Green Space
A huge metropolis with no place to chill out
It is easy to illustrate rich-poor gaps in Manila with photos of fetid slums by the malodorous Pasig or Marikina rivers with a backdrop of Makati or Ortigas. But a bigger and better picture is shown by a simple Google map. Look for green space in the metropolis of 14 million people.
Space to breathe in crowded cities has been a need long before the English 18th century writer Samuel Johnson declared parks to be “the lungs of London.”
By any standard, Manila is short of green space as greed-dominated development politics have swallowed up almost all of what was once dense tropical greenery as the city has expanded. However, the most brutal fact is not so much the totality or even the location of the area. It is who owns or occupies what little green space there is…