This research project aims to answer these are questions:

  • What are the options for brownfield and greyfield redevelopment in the City of Manila, focusing on improving safety and security, mobility, and economic opportunity?
  • Based on global best practices and local parameters, what conditions need to be in place for viable brownfield and greyfield regeneration in Manila?
  • Which sites in Manila, particularly with heritage, tourism, and business value can be identified as pilot areas?

Answers to the questions cited above would contribute greatly on generating means to resolve challenges that the city is currently facing, such as:

  • Manila is no longer the economic or cultural heart of Metro Manila –many of its old functions have been taken over by Makati, BGC, Ortigas, and Quezon City.
  • The city is being challenged by high population density. The city faces issues with solid waste management.
  • Manila has been marked socio-spatial inequality. There is predominantly single-use land development –no “time spread”
  • No visual cohesion, pleasing sense of place –heritage buildings demolished to make way for malls.
  • People don’t feel safe, or feel it is accessible enough as a place to work, live, and play –capital flight.

The research project will undergo three (3) phases, of which are the following:

1. PHASE I: Opportunity
• Economic opportunities have to be realized and maximized in order to complement mobility and safety initiatives.
• Build on the untapped potentials of Manila.
– Large and untapped informal sector market that can serve as a labor force for urban regeneration activities.
– Availability of land for brownfield and greyfield development.
– Strong potential to expand the hospitality and leisure industry.
– Heritage is still Manila’s asset.
• Strategic location for businesses (port area, proximity to Makati CBD).

2. PHASE II: Mobility
• Capitalize on making brownfields/greyfield safe and accessible to the people and the industries (Bring them back on the map).
• Reduce losses incurred due to traffic congestion especially for a coastal/ port city like Manila
– Mitigating the social costs of transport improvement.

3. PHASE III: Safety and Security
• In the 2017 Safe Cities Index, Manila ranked 55th out of 60 major cities in terms of security (digital, health, infrastructure, personal security).
— Urban regeneration should contribute to making safe spaces for both the people living in the city and those who are working in the city.
• Safety and security is integral to doing business.