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Urban Renewal of Recto Avenue, Manila Philippines

Gessa Mae E. Abriol Paolo E. Bajacan John Luis F. Capistrano Marren Princess Layne A. Cura Angelie Victoria F. Gaspar Ken Robert Legaspi Aaron Paul M. Manalo Yvonne Mari C. Sequito Kezia Mae C. Toacao Jona Ysip

Far Eastern University


Character Appraisal of Claro M. Recto Avenue, Manila


An Avenue Recto Avenue is located in downtown Manila area that stretches from Binondo, Manila to the Mendiola Bridge in Barangay San Miguel, Manila. It is bounded by the Jose Abad Santos Avenue in the west and the streets of Legarda and Mendiola in the east.

a. The western end part of the Recto Avenue, Legarda and Mendiola b. Recto Avenue corner Loyola Street, seen here are private vehicles and public transportations

Institutional Zone Claro M. Recto Avenue is within the University Belt Area, an unofficial name of a de facto in a sub district in Manila, consists of many institutional facilities. It is located in the University Cluster Zone where surrounded numbers of institutional facilities are built.


Institutional facilities from Quezon Boulevard corner Recto Avenue to Legarda corner Mendiola and Legarda: Philippine College of Health Sciences (PCHS), Informatics, Interface, STI, University of the East (UE Manila) and San Sebastian College-Recoletos

Official Zoning Map of Manila

Intense Traffic It is known for its insanely busy thoroughfare, which is populated mostly by college students, and for the stretch of small shops and stalls that sell almost everything for a very low price. The southern part of Recto is marked before by heavy concentration of cinemas, and now with department stores, magazine stands, and sidewalk vendors. It is also one of the primary roads that lead to Mendiola Bridge

URBAN RENEWAL OF RECTO AVENUE where demonstrators gather to redress their grievances against the government. It is within the University Belt of Manila and crosses through Manila's five most populous districts, making it one of the busiest areas in downtown Manila.

Direction of Transport and Network Connection

Informal settlers Basically, informal settlers are not the right term for these people who wander all day long through Recto Avenue. They dont usually settle in that particular place, these homeless people stay in the area of their interest or only for the mean time wherever the setting sun would put them off. These settlers, who basically ask for alms, usually ride jeepneys and gives small envelope to passengers to ask for help.

Long stretch of vendors After the Quezon Boulevard-Recto Avenue intersection is a long stretch of small shops that sells new, second hand, and even hard-to-find books for college students. Other than these small shops of books are stores that provides services such


as textile shops, pawnshops, restaurants, palmists and astrologers, martial arts, and dental clinics.

A long stretch of small shops that sells new, second hand, and even hard-to-find books for college students


Public Transportations Recto Avenue having several public transportations to be linked in some places such as going to Divisoria via jeepney, to Marilao via FX, to Taytay via bus. Since Recto has an institutional purpose, other parts of Metro Manila specially students often goes to Recto to study, so provided that there are connected public utility buses some students and workers could ride into where they would be at ease even those who are living outside the premises. The connection to nearby commercial malls and churches are found in Recto, it provides all kinds of vehicles that will accommodate for the needs of its inhabitants to go to the places where they can find leisure and other activities. Since Manila is serviced by the Manila Light Railway Transit System, a national priority project designed to address the overwhelming traffic that congests the national capital. Development of the system began with its inception in the late 1970s under the Marcos administration. Thus, the creation of one of the stations of LRT is built within the premises of Recto that accommodates the convenience of its population and caters the transformational needs or its dwellers.


The Light Railway Transit having one of its terminals in Recto

Circulation Recto Avenue can be access through Mendiola or Legarda and Quezon Boulevard on the other end. Walking is not that safe along Recto. It can be sometimes or usually dangerous especially during the night since it is where criminalities and other theft related cases are usually happening. One cannot freely walk along the sidewalk without ever having to worry about their personal things. Even bicycles dont have a space in the area, there is but they would basically be joining public transport and private vehicles on the main avenue.

Legibility/Access The minor points of entry to Recto are from the streets of Nicanor Reyes St. (Morayta), San Sebastian and Loyola, while the major points of entry are from Mendiola, Legarda and Quezon Boulevard.

Traffic Generation Most days especially the weekdays there is always an intense traffic in the area since it is populated by mostly college students adding the workers and inhabitants of the area.


Accommodating cars and service vehicles Parking areas in the area are usually located in the sides of sidewalks and arcaded sidewalks. Parking spaces occupy one lane each. They dont usually have a space for parking.


Well known because it has an insanely busy thoroughfare. This place is very useful because of the stretch of small shops and stalls that sell almost everything for a very low price. The place in the heart of Manila where living anthology of chaotic tales and criminal stories happens. It is also student dorm central of the Philippines where most Filipinos nationwide claim temporary board and lodging in the myriad of apartment houses lining a warren of narrow streets while enrolled in the more than a dozen universities located in the area.

Recto Avenue is known for being the place for making fake documents like diploma, receipts, theses, grades, awards, licenses etc. It is also the place where you can buy cheap or used books. Recto is sometimes called University of Recto because of how they fake legal documents instantly; it has already been featured in CNN because of the illegal documents which people use for employment in other countries.

The so-called University of Recto because of issuing fake documents such as diplomas, receipts, transcripts or even forging signatures


Along its entire stretch, there's the Tutuban Railroad Station, Divisoria Market Complex, Tutuban Center Mall, Arranque Market, University of the East (UE), Odeon Theater (which is now a mini mall), Ever Gotesco and other cinema houses, jewelry merchants, schools, eateries and offices.


Originally named Paseo de Felipe, after Philip II of Spain, this street was divided into five portions with different names such as Paseo de Azcarraga by the bay, General Izquierdo, Paz, and at its Sampaloc end, Calle Iris which means rainbow. (Undated)

In year 1910, C M. Recto was originally called Azcarraga Street or Calle Azcarraga, a single name given by the Americans. Azacarraga was renamed Recto on February 17, 1961 under Ordinance No. 4377.

(Ordinance No. 4441 was amended by Ordinance No. 4377, relative to the renaming of Azcarraga Street as Claro M. Recto Street, by changing the classification of street to avenue on October 2, 1961)

The Claro Mayo Recto was named after a Philippine senator and associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Claro M. Recto. A Filipino politician, jurist poet and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation. He is remembered mainly for his nationalism for the impact of his patriotic convictions on modern political thought. Contrary to speculations that it was named after a Spaniard, the name Azcarraga came from the 2 brothers of Spanish parents, Marcelo and Manuel who were born in the Philippine Islands during the Spanish Period, Marcelo who distinguished himself in Spain become, minister of war and twice as prime minister.


To the physical context of Recto Avenue, the linear pattern of the roadways, paths and networks are ornate in curvilinear line streak where in the building heights of its structures rise approximately 20 to 30meters or 4-6 storey height. Mostly, building structures within this road line are noticeably massive in form and recognizable as commercial or institutional use. The majority of the local design as can be seen side by side are ought to be acquainted with European architecture. Hence, the architectural history of the Claro M. Recto, formerly Calle Azcarraga represents the blooming age of economic industry in Recto.

In building forms and features, Ever Gotesco, The Manila Plaza was built in 1996 and was re-launched 10 years later after a major structural transformation from a traditional mall edifice into a more modern retail complex that it is today. 90% of its customers are students.

Structures that still exist now a days:

Old picture of Recto Avenue





Current photo of the Recto Avenue

Old photos of commercial spaces in Recto Avenue


Current commercial spaces in Recto Avenue

o Victorian and European Architectural Style of Tutuban Mall and Cineramas

Similarities of structures in Recto: o Massive column and loggia located on ground floor o Passive cooling window fixed on faade o Massive concrete structure o Pastel colored building structures

The old Moonlit Terrace Dorm

The new Moonlit Terrace Dorm



Laperal Apartment


Physical Environment The ground of Recto Area is where commercial uses and activities take place. The ground conditions are not really good since cracked tiles and groundcovers are seen. The pavements are not maintained and since it is a flood prone area, corrosion of the surface and pavements are present. Groundwater resources are not applicable since there are lots of stockpiles and strewn garbages from the community and also because of those intense floods occurring even with just a small downpour of rain. The drainage system is not working properly because of this garbages. There is a poor waste management in the area and drainages are clogged. Even if at the present time, trucks gathers the garbages of the inhabitants still it is not enough to make the area better. When it comes to climate, especially in the rainy season, Recto Avenue is famous for its intense flooding where usually the water is knee deep in just hours of rainfall. The air quality is also harmful since it is polluted because of the smoke belchers and the smokers who make the street as their smoking area.


Floods occurring even with just a small downpour of rain

Land and Land Use Land uses are mostly mixed uses of commercial, institutional and residential. There are no areas for leisure activities since no private developers would want to develop an area intended for activities.

VI. SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROFILE Specific datas regarding the percentage of those who reside in the Recto Avenue area is not yet accomplished but since Recto Avenue being in the Sampaloc Area and is in the District IV there are 352,154 total population of all ages group and both sexes (District IV). Total number of households in the Sampaloc Area 86,709 while the household Population 5 to 24 Years Old Who Were Attending School at Anytime during School Year 2007 to 2008 by Age Group, Sex, and City/Municipality is 94,347. Most of the residents in the area is composed of students and business people.



Household Population 10 years old and over by Age Group, Sex, Marital Status and City/Municipality (2007)

Household Population 5 to 24 years old who were attending scholl at anytime during school year 2007 to 2008 by Age Group, Sex and City/Municipality (2007)

Household Population by Age Group, Sex and City/Municipality (2007)



Palafox Associates (2005-2020). Land Use Plan Book 2. Manila Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance. City Planning and Development Office, Manila

Yeang, llewelyn Davies. Appreciating the context. Urban Design Compendium, (2.2), 21-23

Waterford City Council (May 2008). Planning Context. Waterford North Quays, Urban Design Framework Plan. (p. 2-4)

Getaway, Ramsey (4 November 2004). Ramsey and the Urban Design Framework Area in Context. Urban Design Framework (2.0) p. 3

Lahart, John (March 2013). Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets

Enrique, Seor (22 August, 2008) Blog post. Azcarraga, Heading East To Legarda