The Habitat for Humanity Green Chapter: Builders’ Summit 2021 plenary session was held on August 13, 2021. The virtual event was organized by the official De La Salle University Chapter of Habitat for Humanity Philippines and was open to students from Grade 11 to Undergraduates nationwide. The Builders’ Summit 2021 aims to “empower youth leaders to challenge conventional solutions and create innovative actions plans to combat the housing problem in the Philippines.” It was also an important platform for the youth to have a more in-depth understanding of the housing crisis in the Philippines and to hone their skills and strengthen their advocacies regarding the vision that “everyone should have a decent place to live in.”
Ar. Felino “Jun” Palafox, Jr., was among the resource speakers invited to present during the plenary session, which covered topics such as the importance of urban development and planning, sustainable housing governance, and the innovative importance of clean renewable energy and long-term-planning, among others. The event’s other distinguished panelists were Vice President Leni Robredo, Ar. Joel Luna, Mr. Jose Luis Oquinena, Ms. Patricia Non, and Ms. Melissa Navarra, among others.
Ar. Palafox’s presentation discussed the importance of architecture, planning, and urban design toward sustainable development. He shared that by 2050, the Philippines’ population is projected to increase to 148 million, and to avoid urban decay, we would need 100 new sustainable cities by then. To accommodate such a huge number of people in the future and to manage other challenges, our urban planning, architecture, and urban design should be more sustainable, inclusive, healthy, smart, and resilient. Designing cities should create inclusive communities that provide safe spaces for all. He further discussed the important components and best practices of sustainable and healthy cities such as green urbanism, green architecture, mixed-use developments, and sustainable transportation, among others.