Interrogating Resilience: Governing Disasters in Metro Manila Post-Typhoon Ondoy

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Clark, Ashley
Resilient disaster recovery projects , Urban resilience , Urban poor , Typhoon Ondoy , Dual disaster , Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) , Flooding , Governance , Myth-making , Makati , Manila , Metro Manila , Shadow(s) of resilience , Risk redistribution
By studying the disproportionate catastrophic effects on Manila City and Makati City caused by flooding associated with Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) in 2009 this thesis examines how resilient disaster recovery projects in Metro Manila support state myth-making activities pursued at various scales of governance to justify the expansion of territorial control. Political authorities in Metro Manila rely on resilience discourses to legitimize resilience interventions in the aftermath of a disaster, and these interventions are often to the detriment of those most socio-environmentally vulnerable. Drawing on the dual disaster framework and perspectives from urban political ecology, this thesis concentrates on the variegated power of global urban resilience discourses and how these, in turn, impact resilient disaster recovery projects on the ground in Metro Manila. While national government officials argue it is an obligation of the state to make the city resilient, specifically by improving and building vital infrastructure; disasters, such as typhoon flooding cannot be neatly contained within jurisdictional boundaries and tend to spill over into neighbouring regions where there are overlapping areas of authority and competing interests – as demonstrated in the cases of Manila and Makati. As such, this thesis proposes two new theoretical concepts – shadow(s) of resilience and risk redistribution - in order to provide a contextualized understanding of urban spaces prior to change and account for the complex ways in which the socio-spatial realities of urban residents are altered due to the overlapping of natural and human-made disasters. Ultimately, resilient disaster recovery projects in Metro Manila contribute to an unequal redistribution of risks and resiliencies along axes of class, obscuring the role of state actors in creating these divides.
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