Double exposure, infrastructure planning, and urban climate resilience in coastal megacities: A case study of Manila

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42 Scopus citations


Coastal megacities pose a particular challenge for climate change adaptation and resilience planning. These dense concentrations of population, economic activity, and consumption—the majority of which are in the Global South—are often extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts such as sea level rise and extreme weather. This paper unpacks these complexities through a case study of Metropolitan Manila, the capital of the Philippines, which represents an example of “double exposure” to climate change impacts and globalization. The city is experiencing tremendous population and economic growth, yet Manila is plagued by frequent natural disasters, congestion, inadequate infrastructure, poverty, and income inequality. The need for metro-wide planning and infrastructure transformations to address these problems is widely recognized, but governance challenges are a major barrier. Drawing on fieldwork, interviews, and other primary and secondary sources, I argue that climate change and globalization, in combination with Manila’s historical and physical context, critically shape metro-wide infrastructure planning. Focusing on electricity and green infrastructure, I find that the largely decentralized and privatized urban governance regime is perpetuating a fragmented and unequal city, which may undermine urban climate resilience. This study extends the double exposure framework to examine how global processes interact with contextual factors to critically shape urban infrastructure planning, and how the resulting system conforms to theorized characteristics of urban climate resilience. In doing so, I help to connect emerging literatures on double exposure, urban infrastructure planning, and urban climate resilience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2649-2672
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Climate change adaptation
  • globalization
  • megacities
  • urban infrastructure planning
  • urban resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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