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Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Megacities: A Pilot Application in Metro Manila
November 2007 - January 2010
Location: Makati City Philippines
Sponsored by: German Federal Foreign Office

About the Project

The project aims to undertake specific disaster reduction capability building and to strengthen disaster risk management capabilities in the cities of Metro Manila and Kathmandu. The process is designed to engage these cities to undertake a sustained process that mainstreams sound DRR practices within their basic local governance functions such as land-use allocations, urban planning, public works, social welfare, and disaster management. This approach by EMI had been proven to strengthen local human resource capabilities by improving the competencies of urban planners, disaster management professionals, and other professionals and managers.


Project Summary

In November 2007, EMI launched the Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Megacities Project in Metro Manila and Kathmandu, which aims to enhance the capacities of these cities in mainstreaming sound DRR practices within their basic local governance functions. This Project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO) through the Deutsches Komitee Katastrophenvorsorge (DKKV) and implemented within the context of EMI’s Cross-Cutting Capacity Development (3cd) Program in Metro Manila.

The Makati Risk-Sensitive Urban Redevelopment Planning is one of the Project’s four demonstration activities. It is undertaken in partnership with the City Government of Makati and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). It involved the urban redevelopment planning of selected zones in the Barangay to modify and lessen the physical, social, and economic vulnerability of the community to earthquake-related hazards, while at the same time improving the livelihood and living conditions of the residents.

Makati RSURP

Project Objectives

The project aims to reduce the physical, social and economic vulnerability of Barangay Rizal – a high-risk community of about 7,800 households with one of the lowest per capita income in Makati City, Philippines. Through participatory planning, the project seeks to provide an urban redevelopment plan that will reduce disaster risks to the residents and provide greater opportunities for socio-economic advancement to the community. The plan will be integrated into the comprehensive land use and development plans of Makati City.

Specifically, the project is expected to produce (1) a development framework for the pilot site, Barangay Rizal in Makati City, and (2) an urban redevelopment plan for a particular planning area in the barangay – all anchored on a replicable, participatory, comprehensive, and risk-sensitive redevelopment planning process.

This project can be used as a model for risk-sensitive redevelopment planning, which other high-risk areas in Metro Manila, as well as other major cities in and outside the Philippines, may adapt according to their own contexts.


Two key methodologies were utilized in this project – site analysis (constituting socio-economic vulnerability and capacity analysis; physical vulnerability analysis; emergency management assessment; land use, transportation, and legal and institutional analysis) and redevelopment planning (involving master planning and community action planning).

The evaluation of physical, social and economic vulnerability to the households of Barangay Rizal was key to the redevelopment project. How each of the residents is affected by these criteria was determined from the physical risk survey. The socio-economic surveys provided the profile for the affected residents, which was crucial to the compensation scheme that will need to be put in place for the re-development plan.

The physical vulnerability of individual structures was done through a “Rapid Visual Screening for Seismic Vulnerability of Buildings.” This was carried out by means of a “sidewalk survey” where trained engineers from Makati City filled up a data collection form for each structure based on visual observation supplemented by data obtained from the City’s engineering office. Special attention was also paid to evaluate liquefaction potential. A total of 1,150 structures covering 44 blocks in Zones 7, 8, 9, and 10 were surveyed. This constitutes around 94 percent of the total number of structures (1,229) in the planning area. A special algorithm was designed to classify the structures into four risk levels: Very High, High, Moderate and Low.

Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (VCA) was undertaken to determine the existing conditions that predispose the community to potential socio-economic losses and damages in the event of a disaster. The VCA assessment specifically sought to identify individuals and households who will be adversely affected by a disaster event, and also identify and assess the capacity of households and the community to respond and recover from a disaster event.

The results of the surveys were shared with the community to raise awareness and for educating the community in risk-sensitive re-development.

A series of planning workshops was also undertaken to engage the representatives of the community in the redevelopment process. First, they were oriented on the hazards and their vulnerabilities. Then they were asked to formulate their vision for the community, identify the major problems, and suggest solutions. Then, they participated in the identification of programs, projects and activities, and the validation and acceptance of findings and proposed redevelopment plan. This helped ensure that the plan reflected all stakeholders’ interests, needs and aspirations. All findings and outputs from the projects were shared and validated with the community representatives. To create ownership in the redevelopment plan, the need for a continuous information and education campaign was emphasized. To further develop trust, members of the community were engaged in the data collection process. Training for disaster preparedness and skills training for livelihood improvement were also undertaken.

Project Accomplishments/Deliverables          

  • First project of its kind in the Philippines to address the redevelopment of a built-up urban area, with an emphasis on the reduction of risk
  • Pilot application demonstrating how redevelopment planning can be a powerful tool to lessen the physical, social, and economic vulnerability of high-risk communities


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