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Reasons for Loss of Public Space

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As a person steps out from his or her private space such as their work or home, they are automatically in the public area. Public space as defined by UNESCO is a place that is normally open and accessible to the people, examples of this includes roads, streets, parks, etc. It acts as a stage for social interaction in the form of activities and events in their communities. It is a place where people can choose to be at regardless of their gender, age, or race. Unfortunately, because of the urban growth or modern development, most of the public spaces in the urban areas are now either occupied by private properties or mainly allocated for transportation.

Public space includes the roads which provide the transport system of the people. Presence of any obstructions on the road contributes to loss of public space, specifically, affecting the road space. A major component of the quality of traffic is the availability of road space. Heavy traffic congestion may be the end product on areas with high population density and narrow streets such as in Quiapo (Manila) or in Guadalupe. According to Boquet (2011), the population density of Manila is among the highest of the major metropolitan areas in the world with a comparable land area. Manila is also one of the cities most likely to be congested because the density both of roads per square kilometer and roads per residents appears very low in Manila. With the growing population of the Philippines, most of the roads are not wide enough to support the increasing number of vehicles passing through a specific area. The number of people residing in a specified land area increases while the land area is held constant. There are number of reasons contributing to loss of public space in urban areas such as Manila, one of these is the formation of unregistered stores and vendors occupying half of the streets. This issue has been around for years, it was the most common problem that Filipinos cannot get rid of. Street vending interrupts on the limited road space, further slowing down an already busy vehicular traffic. Second is presence of double parking at the side of the road because of limited parking spaces, making it more difficult to the mobility of cars along the road. Lastly, obstacles in the road that causes blockage such as an accident and road work. These events results to apparent traffic jams in most of the cities in the Philippines.

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Transportation problems affect most of the people and the activities of their daily living. However, this could be addressed by implementing certain measures. Although solving these problems won’t be quick and easy, measures may include the construction of roads should be well planned and spacious, proper movement of vehicles by strictly following the traffic rules and regulations, and sufficient traffic police that could facilitate the flow of traffic. Problems in the transportation system of the Philippines have gone worse as years passed by, although there are laws implemented to avoid these, it is still not enough to see any betterment.


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