Urban Planning Issues in the Philippines

3 Advantages of Pocket Green Parks for Local Governments in the Philippines

How can we make our barangays green? A quick win: POCKET GREEN PARKS.

Why develop pocket green parks?

Pocket green park development has 3 advantages for local governments.

What are Pocket Green Parks?

Borrowing Allison Blake’s definition of pocket parks, I describe pocket green parks as

Pocket green parks are small scale urban open and green spaces in our neighborhoods. usually only a few house lots in size or smaller.

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3 Advantages of Pocket Green Parks

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Pocket green park development has 3 advantages for local governments.

Pocket green parks weaken the friction of distance.

  • In mobility we identify one enemy of movement: DISTANCE!
  • All things being equal, the farther away a destination, the less likely our interaction with it.
  • Distance restrains our movement: often referred to as “friction of distance.”
  • An often-cited study of Metro Manila estimates that nearly 35% of destinations are within a 15-minute walk or bicycle trip (also cited in this ADB Working Paper). Yet, most of these trips are still made using jeepneys and tricycles.
  • A 2017 study estimated that Metro Manila people are willing to walk up to 500 meters. However, these figures may be for work purposes, which can be a more purposeful activity than going to the park.
  • Lower walking threshold may be given for leisure activities.
  • With pocket parks near our homes and activity centers (offices, schools), the more we will be able to use them.
  • Barangays also satisfy the New York City Standards of having 100% of residents within a 5-min walking distance of green space.

Pocket green parks increase the frequency of exposure to greens.

Pocket green parks mean quicker wins because of less red tape.

  • Pocket green parks can be barangay projects, only the barangay is involved in planning
  • One of the biggest obstacles in open space and green space development is land use conflict.
  • Barangay projects can shift from covered basketball courts to small urban gardens and pocket parks, which can be multi-purpose and cater more age groups.

Here are my past projects in local government planning…

What do you think of the pocket green park strategy?

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