Linking disaster risk governance and land-use planning: the case of informal settlements in hazard prone areas in The Philippines (LIRLAP)

Institute of Spatial and Regional Planning (IREUS)

LIRLAP’s objective:

  1. To integrate disaster risk management with comprehensive development strategies and risk-based land-use planning in hazard-prone areas with a particular focus on informal settlements

  2. To build resilient communities in upgrading and retreat via disaster risk governance and adapted spatial planning, particularly at the level of informal settlement through participatory co-production of knowledge for upgrading and retrofitting as a new paradigm

  3. To develop capacities of stakeholders (LGUs, NGOs, private sectors) in building sustainable and disaster-resilient communities.

The Philippines is amongst the countries with the highest exposure to natural hazards. However, urban risk governance and risk-based land-use planning to reduce inhabitants’ socio-economic vulnerability and enhance community adaptive capacity for resilience have not been prioritized. Metro Manila and its large proportion of inhabitants in disaster-prone informal settlements critically challenge resilience planning. LIRLAP seeks to improve the evidence basis for decisions on sustainable and socially acceptable solutions to the widespread problem of informal settler families living in endangered areas. Moreover, it wants to strengthen the capacity of local and regional actors to properly address these planning problems. This also includes on-site retrofitting of the settlement to avoid relocation. The ultimate goal of this effort is to make resettlement and retrofitted sites – and thus the city as a whole – more resilient by mainstreaming upgrading and resettlement strategies in urban development.

LIRLPA consist of four themed work programmes:

1) Risk trends and resettlement options with urban growth

2) Resilient upgrading

3) Resilient retreat

4) Capacity building and dissemination.


Specific to the Philippines context, LIRLAP accentuates sustainable spatial development, proposing to establish a regional planning framework. With primacy of urban risk governance, the project seeks longstanding strategies on: sustaining resettlement sites via urban livelihood strategies; balancing spatial structure of Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces as a chance to accommodate future resettlement; preparing for peripheral mid-size cities’ growth; diverging urban growth into other regional metro-areas so as to augment growth absorption. As outreach programme, LIRLAP practice model is to be tested in similar context of countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia during the research phase.


Lead Partner:


Funding Body:

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Project Management Organisation:

Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)


Die Definitionsphase von LIRLAP startete im Juli 2019 offiziell mit einem Kick-off Workshop in Dortmund

Hannes Lauer

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