Intramuros Administrator Atty. Asido shared the importance of cultural preservation and heritage conservation in urban planning, focusing the development of Intramuros.

The Course on Building Smart and Green Cities and Towns in a Post-Pandemic World held its sixth module last November 4, 2020. The session discussed the importance of cultural preservation and heritage conservation in urban planning, focusing on the development of Intramuros as 2020 Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction.

Opening the session was Atty. Arnel Casanova, course facilitator, who emphasized that city building and innovation is not only about aesthetics. It is mainly about creating identities and souls for cities and towns that will enhance the people’s pride. He highlighted the importance of recognizing that every city and town is different and unique from one another in terms of cultural heritages, citing Vigan and Taal as examples. Towards the end of his presentation, he reiterated the value of preserving the rare green and open spaces in Manila, and urged the participants to protect their heritage spaces.

The highlight of the session was the presentation of Atty. Guiller Asido, Administrator of the Intramuros Administration. His discussion focused on the value and significance of Intramuros as one of the world’s best tourist attractions. He presented that the narrative behind Intramuros is the Filipino themselves; the values of Filipino identity and the Filipino values of ‘malasakit’ and ‘malikhain’. Their strategies in the redevelopment of Intramuros focused on establishing historic and cultural complexes nationwide as hubs for cultural education, entertainment, and tourism; and expanding exclusive cultural structures as civic spaces for dialogue and cultural exchange. Finally, he shared to the participants the lessons they have learned throughout the years—understanding the place, involving the community, recognizing that change is possible, being relevant, and being open to learn the value of planning from the perspective of the community.

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