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The Manila Mega Urban Region: In Search of a Model

This paper searched for the appropriate model of the Manila mega urban region. On which basis appropriate plans for the future development in the Manila “super region” can be laid. In this search, the fit was tested first for the American model, and subsequently tested also for the McGee-Ginsburg desakota model. Partly confirming expectations, the desakota model which was derived from Asian cases, proved to be more accurate in describing the Manila mega-urban region. This model fitted the Manila mega urban region on the following basis: 1. the major cities of the urban hierarchy are dominated by one or two cities (the Metropolitan core); 2. the peri-urban regions, which are those areas surrounding the cities within a daily commuting reach of the city core (which can go as far as 30 kilometers from the city core); 3. outside the city core, there are regions of an intense mixture of agricultural and nonagricultural activities that often stretch along corridors between cities. These areas were formerly devoted to agriculture, generally dominated by wet rice agriculture; 4. these areas referred to in No.3 are densely populated; 5. areas outside of those referred to in No.4, are sparsely populated frontier regions that offer opportunities for agricultural development. Structurally, the Manila mega urban region has the National Capital Region (NCR) as its core and its peri-urban regions are Bulacan, Pampanga and the Clark Subic industrial corridor in the north; and the CALABARZON in the south. The agricultural hinterlands comprise of the rest of the Central Luzon and the island provinces of Southern Tagalog (MIMAROPA).


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Aug 17, 2013