BACOLOD CITY – Mayor Evelio Leonardia is scheduled to meet with top urban planner Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr. this January to discuss the development of a masterplan for Bacolod.
Before the New Year, Palafox called up Leonardia, who said that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had facilitated his contact with the world-renowned master urban planner.
The mayor said that during their meetings, Alvarez had consistently expressed interest to help Bacolod finance the hiring of Palafox’s services.
Palafox, president of Palafox Architecture and senior partner of Palafox Associates, has done more than 1,200 local and international projects, including the master planning of more than 17 billion square meters of land area and the architectural design of more than 12 million square meters of building floor area in 39 countries.
Leonardia pointed out that Palafox is one of the creators of the masterplan for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
“Can you imagine if we can use his brains for Bacolod?” the mayor said.
For his part, Palafox, when informed that Bacolod would celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2018, said the city should start thinking how it should be in the next 80 years.
“We could start re-thinking, re-imagining, re planning, re-engineering, re-architecture, remove, reduce, and recycle, re-develop and hopefully, we could have an urban renaissance,” Palafox told reporters during a telephone interview.
He added: “I think Mayor Bing has a visionary leadership. He has strong political will, he has a good appreciation of good urban planning, and he seems to have a good appreciation of good design, like architecture engineering, and good governance.”
Palafox said he sees Bacolod’s “very high development potential”.
“(I) think Bacolod has a lot of potentials. Look at the strength, the opportunities to develop it. It can compete with the rest of the world,” he added.