UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sense of place, places of vulnerability : exploring home and resettlement of river-fronting informal settlers using narratives and images Esser, Gabrielle Rose


Informality of housing, micro economies, and social networks have emerged over the last century as the dominant morphology in large cities and urbanizing rural municipalities. In the Philippines, this phenomenon has been exacerbated by colonial influences on urban design and declining rural agricultural livelihoods. Informality has historically been addressed as a planning problem to be solved with social housing and zoning. This research attempts to capture the subjective, human side of informality using images and narratives to examine place-making processes and place attachment of persons living informally along the Angat River in the peri-urban municipality of Plaridel in Central Luzon, Philippines as well as local service providers and a sample of persons who have been successfully relocated to social housing within Plaridel. This study uses Photovoice and ethnography to characterize how informal settlers, relocated informal settlers and service providers make sense of informal spaces and places and Jubilee Homes social housing site in Plaridel in the context of vulnerability and place-making. Through historical and current policy analysis paired with Photovoice images and personal narratives, this research asserts that decentralizing shifts in policy, such as the Local Shelter Plan, create a window of opportunity for transition into a new policy paradigm of meaningful consultation and planning with informality and informal settlers. Informality has been, and will continue to be a part of reality in Plaridel and other peri-urban satellite municipalities to Metro Manila.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada