Committed to creating a caring and inclusive community of learners, the Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC), through its Institute of ASEAN-European Studies (IAES), partnered with Placemaking Davao, when it hosted Placemaking Initiatives in Asia on January 15, 2024 at the Sedes Sapientiae Auditorium. 

Taking center stage is the inspiring lecture of renowned urban planner from the University of Melbourne’s School of Design, Dr. Derlie Mateo-Babiano. Titled “The Fundamentals of Placemaking,” her lecture laid down the core principles for creating shared spaces that go beyond mere functionality. Placemaking, Dr. Mateo-Babiano further adds, “is an approach to create capacity for people to have agency over the social and ecological systems of which they are part.” In short, placemaking builds connection between people and the places they share. 

The program featured a hybrid webinar focused on tactical urbanism, where speakers from three different Asian countries — April Valle of Placemaking Davao, DheamyraAysha Ishanti of Ruang Ketiga Indonesia, and Yuriko Tanabe and Ayaka Chiyoda of Placemaking Japan — shared their experiences, doable projects, and strategies in the pursuit of meaningful partnership with the public and private sectors in making vibrant and inclusive shared spaces

HCDC’s Sedes Sapientiae auditorium became an instant laboratory for in-person participants who were afforded with practical, hands-on placemaking capacitation with Architect Harold Delima of Placemaking Davao leading the interactive workshop dubbed as “Tapok Tapok: Street Activation”. This activity drew out contributions from each in-face participant to co-create a gathering space where activities that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being are highlighted. Serving as co-facilitators for the 80 in-face participants were the other competent members from Placemaking Davao, namely, Atty. Mark Penalver, Architect Jim Palma, Prof. Dennis Sumaylo, Ms. Nelia Agbon, and Mr. Mark Seng. 

This was an inclusive and diverse cohort of participants that the HCDC-IAES and Placemaking Davao managed to attract, including the Consulate General of Malaysia in Davao City, local officials of Barangay 14-B, students and faculty from Assumption College of Davao and HCDC, researchers, and online participants via Zoom. 

Coffee for Peace, a group of local farmers whose advocacy is ‘promoting peace through coffee,’ also participated, and shared not just good free coffee, but an inspiring story of transformative journey, and the value of ethically sourced products. 

With collaboration at its core, HCDC is positioning itself as a catalyst for future community-based projects by enabling and inspiring a new generation of thought leaders dedicated to creating change in a positive way through placemaking. (Lulu Melchor-Cayon, IAES Coordinator)