Marikina City in the Philippines is beset by two major challenging situations: 1) natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods due to overflowing rivers and 2) manmade problems that are common to many cities around the world. These include social welfare issues such as a lack of maternal healthcare.
To help give citizens a brighter future seven innovators from all over the world flew into the city to come up with solutions via open innovation.
The initiative called the Metro Manila Civic Innovation Fellowship was organized by Five by Five, a Filipino-founded international open innovation group in Paris. During a two-week period, seven individuals brought their diverse experience, talents, and expertise to bear on a number of different problems.
For example, to reduce risks from earthquakes and floods a previous plan proposed erecting a 7-meter tall concrete river wall. However, there were some concerns that this could damage the 38-kilometer long Marikina River’s natural heritage.
So, some of the innovators proposed an ecologically sound alternative of a wall-less and walkable river garden park. Here, large stones would be used as overflow barriers and crops would act as soil stabilizers. All of this would help to lessen the risk of flooding events while preserving the river’s diversity.
Another problem facing the earthquake-prone city is that schools are often relocated because of safety concerns. And there is often a lack of funds to repair damaged buildings and materials. So the innovators proposed air-tight storage boxes which could be used to keep school materials and dismantlable chairs safe and secure. For the longer term, they proposed the construction of earthquake-resistant school buildings.
Marikina City authorities said they look forward to implementing the proposals.