Intramuros Citizen Assembly Closing Event: Pedestrian-Only Street in Heneral Luna Digital Democracy Project
July 28, 2021 – Makati Business Club and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung organized a Citizen Assembly with the Intramuros Administration to understand what residents, workers and visitors thought about turning Heneral Luna into a Pedestrian-only zone. A total of 1,064 people voted and the results were presented to the Intramuros Administration and the public.
The survey results showed a strong agreement with pedestrian-only streets in Heneral Luna, explained Frei Sangil, CEO of Layertech, and most voters agreed on the benefits of walking and biking close to home. However, there were also a good number of concerns that the voters raised on road safety, parking space, accommodations for PWDs, and flooding among others.
Atty. Vhincent Cañares, Head of the Urban Planning & Community Development Division of the Intramuros Administration, explained the plans of Intramuros as follows:
- To present the results of the survey with recommendations to the Intramuros Board of Intramuros
- To continue engaging with stakeholders on the execution of this policy on pedestrian-only streets in Heneral Luna
- To address concerns on safety raised by in the assemblies, and to prepare a revised traffic management plan
- To continue the orderly development of Intramuros while respecting the significance of the centuries-old design of the Intramuros grid.
During the citizen assembly closing event, participants raised concerns about informal settlers and improving the tourism experience in Intramuros. The administration reiterated their commitment to improving Intramuros as a tourism and historical district while at the same time helping informal settlers attain better living conditions.
Participants also provided suggestions for smoother implementation, such as a special wedding “kalesa” for marriages in San Agustin Church, and symbols on pedicabs to identify them as official licensed pedicabs to avoid over-charging.
According to Atty. Canares, “This is only the beginning. The beginning of seeing and implementing as an actionable item, the possibilities and not the difficulties,” in the development of Intramuros. Through this citizen assembly, Intramuros was able to engage in meaningful consultation with citizens, which will improve the implementation of pedestrian-only streets in the walled-city.