urban planning thesis philippines

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UP School of Urban and Regional Planning



The Urban Vernacular: A low-cost incremental housing development in the Philippines

This study investigates adaptable housing design as a solution to informal settlements’ issues, including the threat of rapid urbanisation and displacement due to eviction, flooding, and an array of man-made destruction. This study aims to identify design processes and solutions that support and prioritise the housing and community needs of lower-income demographics so they may live safe and healthy lives empowered by adaptable design and construction processes that put them in control of the development and progress of their living environments. This exploration will be grounded in the informal settlements of Baseco, Manila in the Philippines, one of the most densely populated in the country, where urban regeneration has been prominent over the past few years. This study will use a mix of quantitative and qualitative design research methods. This research will use quantitative data in the earlier phases of data collection to build an accurate context as a basis for exploration and understanding. Ethnographic studies will inform design phases through secondary sources supported by simulations and models. This investigation aims to contribute to the discussion of urban regeneration and solving informal housing issues in-situ to keep existing social networks intact rather than relocation. This process will begin through an adaptable building design inspired by the incrementalism of informal construction, argued as a form of urban vernacular. This paper indicates that low-income communities are reactive rather than proactive in responding to vulnerabilities. The design solution aims to be a catalyst in fostering a more proactive approach to risk-mitigation strategies and empowering communities through safer living conditions that prevent displacement that destroy networks of social connection.

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