Why some cities transform and others remain vulnerable: interrogating enablers and barriers to transformative adaptation in Metro-Manila.

Authors: Idowu Ajibade*, Portland State University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Cultural and Political Ecology, Urban Geography
Keywords: Transformative adaptation, climate change, disaster-risk reduction, urban resilience
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Washington 6, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The idea of transforming cities to become resilient, adaptable, and sustainable has gained increased attention among climate change scholars and urban planners. However, it is not always clear why some cities transform and others remain vulnerable, partially resilient, or unsustainable. Drawing on urban political ecology theory, this paper identifies the enablers and barriers to transformative adaptation in two adjacent cities in Metro-Manila (Quezon City and Manila City). The paper explores how urbanization processes, power politics, institutional culture, and leadership orientation, allow for planned and desirable transformation to risk management in a certain city but prevent opportunity for change in another. Furthermore, this paper disaggregates the impacts of transformation based on class, gender, and geographic location and argues for increased attention to enablers that foster inclusion and equity among citizens as well as those that allow for sustained and positive change in response to environmental and climatic risks.

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