The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading the proposed urban green spaces ordinance of the city and providing funds for the said purpose.
Under the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr., all urban green spaces, including parks, gardens, plazas and other public open spaces in the city will be covered by the provisions of the said measure.
Among the objectives of the ordinance include to primarily promote the development, conservation and sustainable management of urban green spaces to enhance the city’s livability, environmental quality, and overall well being of the city’s residents; integrate urban green spaces into urban planning processes to ensure their proper allocation, design, accessibility and maintenance; promote an eco-friendly and pollution-free city for the residents and tourists and support urban well being by providing spaces for rest, relaxation and exercise and by keeping temperatures down to help combat climate change.
An urban green spaces committee will be created and shall be composed of the City Mayor as chairperson and the Chairperson on Urban Planning, Lands, Housing and Relocation sites as vice chairperson, The action officers of the said committee will be the City Planning and Development Officer and the City Environment and Parks Management Officer while representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office, City Engineering Office, City Tourism Office, Liga ng mga |Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Federation will serve as members.
The ordinance mandated concerned offices to develop an urban green spaces master plan that will provide a framework for the development, expansion and management of urban green spaces and that the same shall consider the city’s needs, existing green spaces, population density and ecological considerations to ensure equitable distribution and optimal utilization of urban green spaces.
The local government shall allocate sufficient funds for urban green spaces and lands considering population density, proximity to residential areas and the principles of walkability and green space design shall incorporate elements such as trees, shrubs, flowers, seating areas, walking paths, and recreational facilities, ensuring a balance between natural aesthetics, functionality and cultural significance.
The ordinance pointed out that urban green spaces shall be designed and maintained to ensure accessibility and inclusivity for all residents, including people with disabilities, elderly and children and accessible pathways, ramps, signages, seating, and facilities shall be provided to enable equal participation and enjoyment of urban green spaces by all members of the community.
The city shall encourage community participation and engagement in the management and development of urban green spaces and residents, community organizations, barangays and stakeholders shall be invited to contribute ideas, participate in decision-making processes, and engage in volunteer activities to maintain and enhance urban green spaces.