Estero de Paco clearance project, as seen from the roof of an affluent homeowner who benefited from the project.

Manila’s “Danger Areas”

In central Manila, the National Housing Authority and private foundations have been clearing urban waterways and relocating informal dwellers. By some accounts, the rivers and estuaries have become greener, and the city safer from floods and natural disasters. But as “danger areas” rise into green prosperity, the prospects for the displaced are less clear.

Clearing urban waterways creates new challenges for the city’s most vulnerable inhabitants.




  • Barbara Penner
  • Sandy Isenstadt
  • Belmont Freeman
  • Aaron Rothman

Barbara Penner

Barbara Penner is a columnist for Places. She is Senior Lecturer in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

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Sandy Isenstadt

Sandy Isenstadt is a columnist for Places. He is a professor and Director of the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware, specializing in the history of modern architecture.

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Belmont Freeman

Belmont Freeman is a columnist for Places. He is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City.

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Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is the photo editor of Places, and an artist and writer whose work explores contemporary issues in landscape.

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