Monday, December 10, 2007

We're Building a Park in 2009!

The idea is to bring together architecture and art students from different parts of the world who, together with counterpart Filipino students, will design and build a Friendship Park under the artistic supervision of leading artists, architects and urban planners - all in 30 days.

They transcend their language and cultural differences through a shared vision to design and build the project. After a new park is completed, it is given as a gift to the citizens of the Pacific and to the sponsoring organization or institution in the host city. All parks are for the public, and are directly connected to the Pacific Ocean.

The Park will then become part of a network of Friendship Parks ringing the Pacific, and computer kiosks, connected to the Internet and programmed with translation software will allow visitors to chat in real time with citizens in other parks.

There are already four - in the US, Russia, China and Mexico. You can learn more about this global initiative by visiting their website:

We don't know yet where we will build it - we have to find a local government willing to set aside the land (it doesn't have to be big - a few hundred square meters will do), and to whom the park, once built, will be donated back to for it to maintain and keep open to the public. But our initial exploratory inquiries have been universally promising - we're looking at Manila Bay, Subic, Palawan, Puerto Galera, Cagayan de Oro and a couple of sites in Batangas. Dumaguete has also been mentioned, but we have yet to start communications there.

We'll have more than a year to plan - the target date should fall between April and May of 2009 when students are on vacation.

Maybe we can use the opening to also do the art banners idea that launched this blog. :-)

We're excited - it's different, global, cross-cultural, and fun. And it's going to build lasting friendships between and among everyone who's going to be part of it.

Send us an email ( if you want to participate - we'll keep you posted.

*** The photo is of the first Friendship Park in Russia, which provides a dramatic view of the Port of Vladivostok and now is regularly touched by students to obtain good luck on their scholastic exams. The park has also become a favorite place for weddings.


roby said...

I'm in... but I have a suggestion:
Why not build a small bridge (or two) between two (or three) existing parks instead, thereby creating a bigger contiguous green space without any LGU having to set aside any new land. (Would be great if they did, of course, but it's ultimately another hurdle.)
In the meantime, you have Parks and Wildlife, Quezon Memorial Circle, the UP Arboretum, and the Quezon City Hall's front yard all sitting next to each other but literally isolated as islands by eight-lane roads.
Check out what I wrote to Urbano de la Cruz:

How about we raise resources for a bridge to span Quezon Memorial with Parks and Wildlife instead?
As my comment to Urbano above already asks: Why didn't QC City Hall think of this, instead of the more expensive underground tunnel they ultimately built?
Anyway, my two cents worth. I think Mayor Belmonte may welcome the idea, especially if we can all help him to figure out how to execute/pay for this. And especially if the artists community sign up and sell him on the idea.
But count me in on this project. My only thought is, I think we might as well think of executing something bigger without necessarily being unrealistic. I think a "green bridge" -- as Urbano called it -- may be a bit more expensive than a park, but equally as realistic all the same.

roby said...

The link didn't seem to come out right. Again:

CANVAS said...

Thanks for the comment. But one of the requirements of the Friendship Parks is that it is by the sea. Ideally the Pacific Ocean, but for purposes of the project (and given that our typhoons come from the Pacific Ocean), contingious seas and other bodies of water are considered part of the ocean.

The other portion of it is that we need the allocated space because part of the process is the actual designing (and agreement by the participants on the design) of the park. This takes place through facilitated sessions on the first week. Then, weeks 2-4 are spent building the park.