Many cities are now vulnerable to flooding because of climate change. Cagayan de Oro City itself has experienced extreme weather conditions. How do we prepare or adapt to climate change?
We then thought traveling in the rain was romantic. Our group had just finished a photo shoot in the province of Bukidnon and was cruising down to Puerto. Cut off from the rest of the world for five days enjoying the serenity of the less explored nature of the mountainous province, we were shocked by what nature’s different temperament had wrought on our beloved city. During our absence, the incessant rains, the drops looking harmful and whimsical on our windshield, had slowly submerged the city.
Although Cagayan de Oro and other Philippine cities are not among the top 20 cities vulnerable to flooding in the list released by Nature Climate Change, what we have been through is quite easy proof that a watery future is not too impossible.
The Macajalar Bay on the north and at least two large rivers passing through the city, this is the reality of Cagayan de Oro. The more intense rains – and for the first time, the passage of storms – brought on by climate change were probably not anticipated when the city was developing and now it is caught in a complex of structures vulnerable to the natural disasters.
As what multi-awarded Italian architect Romolo Nati, a lead mover of eco-friendly architecture in the Philippines and developer of the Primavera Residences, the first eco-building in Mindanao, said, there is now a need to build structures that are in harmony with nature. Buildings properly designed can actually withstand nature’s wrath by going with the flow instead of counteracting the forces – pretty much like the pliant bamboo versus the sturdy molave in the classic Philippine literature. While the swaying bamboo is able to recover after a strong wind, the resisting molave is uprooted.
Urban planning has to come hand in hand with innovative architectural designs so that the entire structure and flow of the city is harmonized. One eco-friendly initiative addressing one aspect of climate change is not enough because everything is interrelated.
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