Slum Lab: Manila’s Quest to Build a Better Informal Settlement

Manila | 05/28/2013 8:35am
Kate Hodal

Please click here to read the story summarized below.

Many of Metro Manila’s informal settlers have lives in perpetual flux. Slum dwellers are subject to frequent relocations that land them far from the central city and its jobs. (We’ve written about this problem and its destabilizing effects on the Manila blog of the Informal City Dialogues before). But now, a Supreme Court mandate to resettle thousands of families away from the city’s waterways includes the stipulation that those families must be resettled in-city.

This is but one of many developments that is altering the nature of slums in Manila. From community-led mortgage programs to government-initiated resettlements on communal farms, the city is at a pivotal point in its relationship with its informal settlers, and indeed has become a virtual living laboratory of potential solutions. Whether these solutions will bear fruit remains to be seen. In our second Forefront for the Informal City Dialogues, Kate Hodal digs into the vast transformations sweeping informal Manila, and finds hope, skepticism and a city where the only constant is change.

Forefront stories for the Informal City Dialogues are offered free of charge. Click here to read our most recent Forefront, “Slum Lab,” and click here to read our first one, “The D.I.Y. Disaster Plan,” the story of how informal social networks battled the flood that devastated Bangkok in 2011.