This presentation explores the relationship between gentrification and segregation in the process of neoliberal urbanization of Metro Manila. I examine the relationships from two perspectives. First from the perspective of the historical process of capitalism in both a local context and as colonialism, focusing on the rationalization of land use. It will also be necessary to examine how past developments have been transformed into new urban developments in the wake of the real estate boom in Metro Manila. The second perspective examines how the transformation of urban space in Metro Manila entails land use in the provinces through the establishment of resettlement sites for the urban poor. In this presentation, I focus on the urban redevelopment and resettlement project of the Tullahan riverfront located in Malabon and Valenzela under the Aquino administration. In doing so, this presentation identifies one of the processes that has paved the way for Metro Manila to become a “world class” city and the contradictions this entailed.
Keywords: gentrification, segregation, rationalization of land use, neoliberalism, resettlement, colonialism
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Naoki Fujiwara is a PhD student of Politics in the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies at Kobe University, Japan, where he also completed his master’s course in Politics. His research interests lie in neoliberalism, urban political ecology, gentrification, international development, environmental security and the Philippines. In his PhD dissertation he is exploring urban development in Metro Manila in the age of neoliberalism and its contradictions. He is currently a Visiting Graduate Associate at the York Centre for Asian Research. He has also served as a visiting research fellow at the Third World Studies Center in the University of the Philippines. Naoki’s work has also addressed the relationship between gentrification and segregation in the process of neoliberal urbanization of Metro Manila using field research on the Pasig River Rehabilitation Projects in Metro Manila since the 1990s. This research explores how environmental degradation along the Pasig river was “politicized” in developmental discourses, and then “depoliticized” in the political process of its riverfront redevelopment.