Maria Khristine AlvarezUniversity College London | UCL · Development Planning Unit
Maria Khristine Alvarez
Received recognition for a Top Cited Article (2019-2020) in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
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I am a PhD Candidate at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London (UCL), and the recipient of the 2018 DPU 60th Anniversary Doctoral Scholarship Award, as well as the 2018 Gilbert F. White Thesis Award given by the American Association of Geographers (AAG)'s Hazards, Risks and Disasters Specialty Group (HRDSG). My PhD research critically examines how a flood-resilient Metro Manila is being built in the aftermath of the 2009 Ondoy disaster.
In this paper, I forward the concept of benevolent evictions to describe a new mode of dispossession, whereby expulsions from the urban core to the periphery are facilitated through the deployment of benevolence as a technology of eviction. Drawing on the experience of a community association in Pasig City, a part of Metro Manila in the Philippines...
Marcos Jr. won because of two contiguous failures after 1986: that of liberals to force significant concessions from elites, and that of leftists to advance a compelling alternative to elite rule. . . . In the final analysis, what enabled Bongbong to win the presidency was not simply the machinations of his powerful family, but a strong current of...
For too long, the Philippine left has been sucked into giving support to different factions of the ruling elite. An unprecedented left-wing campaign in this year’s presidential election is a chance to break with that approach and put forward a radical agenda. | Published in Jacobin Magazine, March 1, 2022: https://jacobinmag.com/2022/03/philippines...
Infrastructure and the spatial practices that coalesce around them come to matter in multiple ways. Building on the legacy of splintering urbanism and subsequent appraisals, we explore the paradoxes of infrastructural spaces in a Global South city. In Manila, urban infrastructure plays a central role in enabling evictions in city spaces marked as “...
In this chapter, we survey municipalist actions featured in Transnational Institute’s “Transformative Cities Atlas of Utopias”. We then identify de-privatisation, the rise of the urban commons, and social movement unionism as key alternative praxes underpinning radical urban transformations across the globe. Some of the lessons we draw from these t...
Essays and other writings (1) explaining Bongbong Marcos's victory in the 2022 Philippine presidential elections and (2) interrogating prevailing explanations and discourses thereof, published first in international magazines dedicated to socialist and leftist perspectives on politics, economy, and culture.
This research will critically examine how a flood-resilient Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, is being built in the aftermath of the 2009 Ondoy flood disaster which reconstituted Philippine disaster risk management framework (Alvarez, 2019). Its aims are threefold. The first is to understand how the agenda and vision of a flood-resilient city was constituted and later adopted as state policy. The second is to examine the process of implementing imaginaries of a flood-resilient Manila, as carried out in clearing the land (via riparian slum removals known as ‘danger zone’ evictions) and reconfiguring the landscape (via flood mitigation infrastructure). The third is to develop new conceptual tools for understanding the relationship between flood/disaster resilience and dispossession and urbanisation, on one hand, and the intersections between flood/disaster resilience and housing, on the other. This research builds on previous work tracing the assembly of Metro Manila’s floodscape: the construction of the ‘danger zone’ via the aestheticisation of flood and disaster risk (Alvarez, 2018), the production of the revanchist politics of DRM (Alvarez & Cardenas, 2019), and the deployment of benevolence as a technology of ‘danger zone’ evictions (Alvarez, 2019). By centring attention on the production and implementation of a flood and disaster resilience agenda and their consequences for remaking the city, my project expands understandings of dispossession and urbanisation beyond processes of neoliberal urbanism. It offers an original contribution to knowledge through an understanding of how flood/disaster resilience operates as a powerful logic and driver of urban dispossession and production. References: Alvarez, M.K. (2018) Discourses of ‘danger zone’ slum evictions and the aestheticization and territorialisation of disaster risk in post-Ondoy Manila. Master’s thesis (Quezon City: University of the Philippines, Diliman). Alvarez, M.K. (2019) Benevolent evictions and cooperative housing models in post-Ondoy Manila. Radical Housing Journal 1.1, 49-68. Alvarez, M.K. & K. Cardenas (2019) Evicting slums, ‘building back better’: resiliency revanchism and disaster risk management in Manila. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 43.2, 227-249.