Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

Young architects champion agri-inspired, sustainable design of urban communities for food security

Author: DA Communications Group | 27 October 2021

The four finalists of the RE-TERRA 2021 national design competition for young Filipinos presented their plans to transform selected sites in Pasig City with the goal of promoting sustainable food systems in dense urban settings.

“I want initiatives such as this to continue; to be a norm in agriculture. Not only will it influence food security in a big way, but it will also rouse our urban planners to integrate greenery into our cities,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar, represented by Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Reyes said during the RE-TERRA finals held at the Pasig Rainforest Park on October 25, 2021.

The “C.URB: A Call for Pasig City to Counter Urban” proposal by the team of five architects from the University of Sto. Tomas won the competition. The concept follows the philosophy of “providing a solution to the root problem while solving every other problem within its web simultaneously” – a holistic approach to current cities and calls upon the introduction of a new urbanity.

The other three finalists were “Sibol: An Urban Community Farming Development Project,” “UrbaniTree: A Suspended Greenhouse,” and “Dandro Farms.”

“Given the youth’s technological intuition and dynamism, we are banking on them to steer Philippine agriculture towards the digital age and smart technologies. And I am glad that Re-TERRA is investing in the talent and energy of our youth through this very ‘futuristic’ design competition, enabling them to widen their mindset for farming to be more progressive,” Secretary Dar said.

Early this year, the RE-TERRA youth organization headed by Architect Kathleen Encorporado teamed up with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Pasig City local government for the design competition showcasing innovative and transformative designs that will integrate agriculture into the urban setting.

“Design is one thing. Sustainability is just as important. Integrating food production, distribution into the urban landscape must have long-term rewards and economies,” the agri chief stressed.

Along with Secretary Dar, the members of the jury were Mayor Vico Sotto, Food Security Ambassador James Reid, Philippine Green Building Council Chairman Edgar Sabidong, and Palafox Associates Founder Jun Palafox, Chona Ponce of the Council of Deans and Heads of Architectural Schools in the Philippines, Henk Hermans of East-West Seeds Philippines, Joey Yupangco, former dean of Benilde School of Design and Arts, and Philippe Baumann of Pratt Institute were also part of the panel. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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