Resilient city making: revanchism, ‘danger zone’ evictions, and urban production in post-Ondoy Manila

A critical examination of Metro Manila’s flood and disaster resilience project


I am a critical urban sociologist and geographer, and a political activist previously based in Manila and currently working on a PhD at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London (UCL).

In 2018, I won the Gilbert F. White Thesis Award (Master’s) given by the American Association of Geographers’ (AAG) Hazards, Risks, and Disasters Specialty Group; and received the DPU 60th Anniversary Doctoral Scholarship Award from my current department.

My PhD research examines how a flood-resilient Metro Manila is being built in the aftermath of the 2009 Ondoy flood disaster which spurred the reconstitution of the Philippine disaster risk management framework. I aim to develop new conceptual tools for understanding the relationship between resilience on one hand and dispossession and urbanisation on the other. This is part of a larger intellectual project that seeks to understand the new logics, drivers, and modes of expulsion and urban production in Manila.

I have published theoretical and empirical research articles on the politics of ‘danger zone’ evictions and flood risk management. The first appeared as part of a symposium issue of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), and was recognised as a Top Cited Article for 2019-2020; while the second one was published in the Long Read section (focus on critical analysis and theory-making) of the launching issue of Radical Housing Journal.

My writings on cities have also appeared as essays in The Funambulist and Al Jazeera, and as a chapter in the book, Cities of Dignity: Urban Transformations Around the World, published by Rosa-Luxeumburg-Stiftung, Brüssels.

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