The politics of urban flood resilience: The case of Malabon city

Theresa Audrey O. Esteban*, Jurian Edelenbos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Policy-making bodies such as the UNISDR have frequently emphasized the role of community resilience in disaster risk management. However, this community-centered approach to enhancing a city's resilience may overlook other critical variables. Few studies have been conducted on the city's process of building urban resilience, as well as the factors that impede or accelerate the resilience process. This article aims to add to the body of literature on urban resilience processes by analyzing the disaster experience and urban resilience of Malabon City, a flood-prone city in Metro Manila's northwestern region. The purpose of this article is to answer the questions, “How does the process of urban resilience occur?”, “What factors impede or accelerate the process of urban resilience?” and “Why such factors impede or accelerate the process of urban resilience?” Furthermore, the article adds to the debate about how shifting the responsibility for resilience building to society and the community reduces government and political accountability to the people it is supposed to serve. The article will critically assess the policy environment surrounding the flood infrastructure development in Metro Manila and how it gravely affected Malabon City. The case analysis demonstrates that urban resilience does not follow a linear pattern or a single equilibrium, but rather multiple equilibria of resilience building. It highlights that urban resilience is complex and considers the connections between and among sectors and dimensions within the city. The article indicates resilience as a value-laden and politically charged concept.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103604
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Collective engagement
  • Collective engagement urban resilience framework
  • Community resilience
  • Community resilience.
  • Drivers of resilience
  • Flood infrastructures
  • Martial law
  • Philippines
  • Politics of resilience
  • Urban resilience


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