Re-Terra 2021: Local competition aims to redesign food security in Metro Manila
BY Patricia Avila
December 09, 2023

If the initial stages of lockdowns due to the pandemic made anything clear, it’s that Metro Manila’s has a severe lack when it comes to food security.

Achieving a “record-high” of around 7.6 million households, an estimated one-third of families suffered from hunger amidst the global pandemic, according to the Social Weather Stations survey conducted in mid- to late-September of 2020.

The glaring food shortage spurred Kathleen Encorporado, currently VP of Design and resident architect for Brooklyn Industries, to launch Re-Terra 2021. 

Calling on students and graduates with minds for design and architecture, the national competition put forth its mission to discover ways to transform Metro Manila’s bustling urban metropolis into a food-producing, self-sufficient capital, starting with three expository sites in Pasig City.

Various groups and individuals presented their ideas to an accomplished panel of judges, including Pasig City mayor Vico Sotto, assistant secretary for strategic communications for the Department of Agriculture Noel Reyes, architect and former dean of De La Salle-College of St. Benilde Joey Yupangco, and actor and Ambassador for Food Security James Reid.

The winning project from Team Anarchi, composed of University of Sto. Tomas architects Paula Casia, Aramis Corullo, Althea Poblete, Angelo Landicho, and Gellaine Burgos, took home the grand prize of Php 250,000.00 for their project “C.URB: A Call for Pasig City to Counter Urban.” A holistic approach to the problem, C.URB is designed to be a collection of towers that produce and store food for efficient output and distribution.

Image of “Project Sibol” by Jan Mark Vargas courtesy of Re-Terra

Other concepts have also garnered support from the judges, such as Saint Louis University’s Jan Mark Vargas, who presented “Project Sibol,” a community-integrated solution to food shortage, and University of La Salette alum Ariel Navarro Padua’s “Urbanitrees,” a proposal for elevated greenhouses that can allow crops to thrive overhead of cities.

Re-Terra 2021 was sponsored by Boysen, a local leader against climate change with the help of their heat reflective paint, and East West Seed, distributor of high-quality seeds that empower farmers for better yields throughout the country.

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