Tayabas: The First Filipino City Beautiful Plan
The historiography of the City Beautiful in the Philippines has, in broad terms, been dominated by two American planners, Daniel Burnham and William E. Parsons. In some ways this is to be expected: both individuals were known to have strong personalities; Burnham’s monumental 1905 plans for Manila and Baguio were central to a new urban design paradigm being manufactured in the country, a planning model which replaced the Spanish colonial spatial model based in the Law of the Indies (1573); and, Parsons from 1906 to 1914 as Consulting Architect to the Philippine Commission propagated the City Beautiful via comprehensive city plans and grand civic centre projects. But where in the Philippine City Beautiful narrative do Filipino planners fit? To date their role in the city planning picture during the American colonial era has been, at best, portrayed as minimal. However, given the author’s recent uncovering of new planning works by Filipinos, e.g. in Tayabas and Iloilo Province, is it pertinent to ask if planning historiography needs to be revised?
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