Analysis of the Shopping Mall, Baguio: Re-Development Concept

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The re-development and expansion plans of SMDC for its mall at Baguio is stirring up lots of controversies and getting a lot of negative feedback. According to the news articles online, the said company plans to transform the existing 106,000 square meter mall to have an additional 76,000 square meter area, which is actually going to become a seven-level open-air retail, dining, and entertainment plaza, with underground parking spaces. This development, if pursued, is said to be the first mall in the country to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the standard recognized worldwide for green building design and construction. This green building concept sounds like a great idea, since the mall would be reliant on natural ventilation, will make use of the so-called “Green Roof Technology” or a sky garden rooftop which will create a good environment for vegetation, and a water reservoir will then be built to help alleviate the city’s problems caused by heavy rains. In result, this environmentally friendly mall would lead to a reduction in electricity costs and bring us closer to nature. However, the construction of this “green building” has its consequences because the plan is that it would be built in an area where hundreds of trees are currently located. Some news report say there are 182 trees, while some claim there are 142. The number does not matter. These huge trees have been there for years now and surely their roots have gotten into a wide reach. Uprooting them would definitely cause harm to the structure of the soil in that area in Baguio. It is even stated that “Baguio is one of the country’s premiere tourist destinations because of its cool climate, panoramic view and bounty of pine trees. The charm of the city relies on the presence of trees within a highly urbanized city.” (Palatino, 2012). So removing these trees would somehow be changing the essence of the city. Despite the replanting and replacement of these...
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