LIRLAP: Linking risk governance and spatial planning. The Case of Informal Settlements in Vulnerable Areas in the Philippines.

LIRLAP focuses on climate-resilient upgrading and resettlement programmes in informal settlements in the Philippines and improves living conditions through locally sustainable strategies produced together with residents.

Globally, rapid and often poorly managed urbanisation is a major driver contributing to an increase in disaster risks. The phenomenon of informal settlements in vulnerable areas poses a particular challenge because poor people are often the most vulnerable to disasters. While cities often focus on global competition and the efficiency of the urban economy, the extremely marginalised urban poor are often excluded from national planning, including in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. Therefore, it is essential to implement urban risk governance and risk-based land use planning for reduced socio-economic vulnerability of the inhabitants and improved adaptive capacity.

The LIRLAP project contributes to the promotion of risk-oriented spatial planning through three main objectives:

(1) Urban development approaches for resettlement and upgrading of informal settlements are developed, complemented by knowledge transfer to and from Thailand and Vietnam, and tested in two pilot studies with upgrade design guidelines in Metro Manila. The upgrading and resettlement strategies will be adopted in urban risk management and guidelines replicated in other upgrading sites.

(2) Climate adaptive upgrading and resettlement approaches will be co-produced with residents as pilot studies to improve their livelihoods.

(3) LIRLAP plans to mainstream locally viable strategies for upgrading and resettlement as well as integration of resilient planning through training programmes and dual PhDs between Dortmund and the School of Urban and Regional Planning - University of the Philippines, where knowledge and solutions are generated, transferred and spread. All results are transferable to partner countries and countries with similar development contexts. To ensure this, the risk trend model is being transferred to partner cities in Thailand and Vietnam and a cross-country analysis is being developed.


Project lead:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Greiving
Institut für Raumplanung, TU Dortmund
August-Schmidt-Straße 10

Tel.: +49 231 755 2213


Project partners:

  • School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP), University of the Philippines
  • Institut für Raumordnung und Entwicklungsplanung (IREUS), Universität Stuttgart
  • Unit on Human-Environment-Relations, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Urban Futures & Policy Research Unit (UFP), Thammasat University, Thailand
  • Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam National University of Agriculture
  • KaiserIngenieure, Dortmund


Project website LIRLAP

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