Taft Ave. Urban Livability

Project proposal and concept art created for urban rehabilitation projects in collaboration with The Benildean Architecture and Design Consortium, Inc. – an organization fostering community stakeholder participation in the design of innovative solutions to social changes for the university area of Taft Avenue, Manila.

The Pasig River

The city’s largest vein is the Pasig River which used to be the main route of transportation way before urban development was established. It branches out into smaller streams and estuaries that are now stifled of its full potential due to residential and industrial waste, creating decade-old bottlenecks not just in infrastructure but as well as the well-being and development of the community.


Estero Tripa de Galina

“Tripa de Galina” or chicken gut in Spanish, is an estuary that runs through the consortium’s area of responsibility.


We conducted an initial survey of the area prior to beginning the study, as well as heavily involving the residents and local government units in the research process. We looked at things like alternative pathways, vegetation, biodiversity, elevation profiles, informal settlers, youth activities, and small business development. Learn more about our interaction with the community through a participatory design movement called Taft Love.

Taft Love Movement

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde has spearheaded the movement by inviting facilitators from OXD Experience Design (SG) to introduce the faculty to Design Thinking, allowing us to work effectively with the residents and LGU’s of our community.


In order to gain traction for the proposed improvements and to include in the publication of the completed study, architectural renderings of Tripa de Galina’s potential.

Rehabilitation of the estuaries allows the formation of a linear park providing a long stretch of open and breathing space for tourism and may be used as a learning facility to be enjoyed by everyone, rich or poor. Opening up the tributaries creates a transit hub that can actually accommodate small non-motorized boats. Clearing the chokehold revives the biodiversity corridor that links diverse habitats and species of Laguna Lake to the Manila Bay.

In order to support the city’s population, buildings are built so close together with little concern for urban planning. It is hard to come by dedicated green areas or open space. This creates an opportunity to convert unused spaces like rooftops into vertical forests and alternative farms.


Produce from the town maybe sold at the town market or supplied to kitchens of Hotel Benilde for fresh ingredients. This also eases the laboratory market budget for the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management students.


Uplifting the community is an integral part of the master plan.

This requires a community program be implemented for developing green spaces for urban agriculture towards capacity-building.

The Town & Gown approach was utilized, having identified usable spaces for alternative farming, with the support of the universities in terms of resources and materials, as well as having access to the university-run hotel campus creates an opportunity to create a sustainable trade system.


Open and green spaces tend to be created organically by the movement of people and the transformation of the city’s untended features into informal spaces for social interaction, micro-businesses, and as shelter.

Rooftop hydroponic farming and creation of public spaces are incorporated in this concept.

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