The concept became a highlight discussion in the Waterfront Development Summit held at the National Museum of Cebu on Friday, May 12, 2023, as Jakob Ollivier De Leth of the Netherlands said that permeable sprawling spaces could be a solution towards water management in the city.
He explained that permeable parking spaces would use porous materials for concreting and cementing works instead of traditional cement allowing runoff water and rainwater to filter down into the ground.
“Groundwater levels, like here, are also under threat in the Netherlands. There are just too many people, too many who want to drink and use water. I think the (permeable) parking is part of the solution but they are not common enough here,” De Leth said.
He added that this is a concept from their country that could be possible and applicable in Cebu City.
Cebu City Vice Raymond Garcia, chairman of the Waterfront Development Council, told SunStar Cebu that he is keen on pursuing this system for the city.
“It’s very possible. I think the City Council is already working on an ordinance for permeable parking spaces and other infrastructures. In fact when we plan our heritage district with the heritage walk or heritage tour, and we pedestrianize the area, that is definitely the plan, for permeable roads or walkways and we will really incorporate it,” Garcia said.
De Leth added that not only parking spaces should be made permeable, but other spaces that do not experience heavy traffic and loads should also be incorporated in this system.
“You need to find spaces where there’s no heavy load or traffic. Walkways are perfect, parks, and you can also combine 50 percent cement and 50 percent of these porous stones,” De Leth said.
However, he warns that porous concrete is not wheelchair friendly so creative methods must be employed to address accessibility needs.
Aside from the Netherlands, experts from Hawaii and Japan also spoke during the summit to share the best practices in water and flood management.