Workshop participants and facilitators pose with certificates

As part of its steadfast commitment in pursuing sustainable urban mobility, General Santos City in the Philippines learned about the integration of land use and transport planning using the principles of transit-oriented development (TOD) during a training-workshop facilitated by Clean Air Asia in May 2024. 

The training participants formulated a common vision that “a TOD in General Santos City is walkable, safe, and sustainable.” They used this draft vision to conceptualize goals, targets, and actions for developing selected sites with potential for TOD in the city. The City Government of General Santos plans to use these outputs as reference in their current efforts to update their Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).

Workshop participants and facilitators pose with certificates

Figure 1. Workshop participants and facilitators pose with certificates

Key insights from experts 

Councilor Atty. Dominador Lagare Jr., Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Transportation, remarked that the activity can help enhance the city’s transportation situation. EnP. Michael Ang, Founding President of the PIEP-SOCCSKSARGEN Chapter, also commented that “integrating the sustainable mobility concept into the [General Santos City CLUP] will be highly beneficial to our community.” 

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) – Region 12, represented by Division Chief EnP. Alberto Sero Jr., introduced the TOD policy framework to set the context for the training workshop. “This activity is a journey towards fostering smarter, greener and more resilient communities within General Santos City,” EnP Sero said. 

The Sustainable Design of Urban Mobility in Medium-Sized Metropolitan Regions (SMMR) Project, represented by advisors Sovan Sieng and Azarel Chamorro, presented international case studies to illustrate how TOD can be integrated into the land use planning framework of General Santos City. “The [SMMR Project] hopes to enable better integration between land use and mobility,” Sieng stated.

Sovan Sieng, SMMR Advisor, introduces the sustainable urban mobility planning process 

Figure 2. Sovan Sieng, SMMR Advisor, introduces the sustainable urban mobility planning process 

Angelo Paulo Mogul, a landscape architect from the Bulacan State University, demonstrated the use of the TOD suitability index, a tool for assessing selected neighborhoods TOD potential. Dr. Lew Tria and Dr. Danielle Guillen, experts from the National Center for Transportation Studies, demonstrated how tricycles and light electric vehicles can support the transition of General Santos City towards sustainable urban mobility and transit-oriented development. Tricycles are a primary modes of transport in General Santos City. 

Transport Researcher of Clean Air Asia, facilitates a mind-mapping exercise 

Figure 3. Marion Tinio, Transport Researcher of Clean Air Asia, facilitates a mind-mapping exercise 

Participants of the training-workshop included representatives from the executive and legislative offices of the City Government of General Santos, managers of commercial malls in General Santos City, and transport cooperatives of modern public utility vehicles and tricycles.  

The training-workshop was hosted by Clean Air Asia in partnership with the DHSUD - Regional Office 12 and the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners - SOCCSKSARGEN Chapter. 

SMMR Project 

The SMMR Project is an ASEAN-German cooperation project wherein Clean Air Asia serves as the implementation partner of the SMMR Project in the Philippines. The SMMR Project is currently working with the city governments of General Santos, Baguio, and Iloilo in projects towards sustainable urban mobility planning. 

SMMR will continue its support to the City Government of General Santos through drafting an action plan that can help the city pursue integrated land use and transport planning and transit-oriented development. 

General Santos City stakeholders from the government and private sector discuss potential sites for transit-oriented development with SMMR advisors

Figure 4. General Santos City stakeholders from the government and private sector discuss potential sites for transit-oriented development with SMMR advisors