Mr. Prilles shared the Critical Role of Institution, City Governance, and Leadership in Building Sustainable Cities and Towns during SGCT culmination.

The culminating activity of the course on Building Smart and Green Cities and Towns in a Post-Pandemic World was held last December 2. The last module discussed the critical role of an institution, city governance, and leadership. It was joined by Mr. Wilfredo Prilles, Jr., City Development and Planning Coordinator of Naga City LGU as the guest lecturer and Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo as the keynote speaker.

During the session, Mr. Prilles shared the best practices they adopted as well as the challenges they have experienced in Naga City in terms of city planning. He presented the Naga Governance Model – a local guiding framework and serves as the framework of everything they do in the city, especially in urban planning. He highlighted that good urban governance is powered by three (3) elements; progressive development perspective, functional partnerships, and participation.

Mr. Prilles highlighted that good urban governance is powered by three (3) elements.

The evolution of planning was also presented during the discussion. From the concept that planning is a purely technical activity where a physical planning exercise is distinct and separate from social and economic planning moving to the idea of planning as a rational activity which is its emphasis is on the application of scientific methods in planning. Lastly, the concept of planning as a political process where there is a shift to paradigm; from town planner as an expert planner to town planner as “communicator” who mediates between competing interests in the public arena.

In urban planning the socio-political consideration is important. Looking for the possibility that cities will continue to grow will result in the treble of the resources we have, he added.

Presenting the data that urban areas are resource intense. Consume 75% of natural resources, produce 50% of global waste, account for 60-80% of global GHG emissions, generate 80% of global GDP, and occupy 3% of a land surface. It was projected that by 2030, we will need at least 50% more food, 45% more energy, and 30% more water that may result in the scarcity of resources. 

Essentially, planning is moving from your present state to a future state, and the future state should be represented by a vision that reflects the best for the society.


Among the best practices, Naga adopted are the SDG local-responsive plan which aligned with Ambisyon Natin 2040 of NEDA, mainstreamed the migration and development that makes Naga the first Philippine LGU to have mainstreamed M&D in both CPD and CLUP, strong poverty focus where it yields richer and more nuanced poverty profile having the CBMS to have efficient data, strong environmental profile, mainstreaming the CCA-DRRM, heritage conservation to enhance awareness of local cultural heritage as a means of boosting tourism, and the 2021-50 Sustainable Urban Development Plan – a plan which is a product of a local initiative that will introduce the use of Design Thinking. 

Mr. Prilles ended his presentation by reminding the participants that urban planning is essential not only because it is a key management function, but because of its governance dimensions. 

Urban planning is both a rational technical activity and a political process where partnerships and participation play a key role in ensuring successful plan implementation, he added.

The course is a ten-session course facilitated by Atty. Arnel Casanova.

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