Jude Esguerra

Metro Manila: Designing mobility for liveable and social cities

The roads of Metro Manila are considered to be among the most congested in the world. Jude Esguerra analyses its mobility systems and shares three visions for transport in the Philippines capital region.

Ambitious transport infrastructure plans have fallen to the wayside in Metro Manila. Road spaces have become extremely limited due to the unregulated entry of jeepneys and buses onto the roads and the preponderance of cars. And many regard cars as a necessity, not just because public transport is a daily challenge, but because the central business district and countless residential enclaves are designed for cars.

The problem of traffic in Metro Manila did not happen overnight. The implementation of pre-war and post-war master plans for the cities of Manila and Quezon City are only halfway completed to this date. Financial constraints, regulatory flaws, and sociocultural factors are the main causes of Metro Manila's current gridlock and roads dominated by cars heading to the gentry's gated villages and central business districts.

But major shifts are underway. Funding for improving road-based public transportation has been granted. Cycling and walking became necessary in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic because lockdowns coincided with the government's complicated revamping of public utility vehicle routes. This expansion of active transportation occurred at the same time that private sector-led public transportation investments and entry into Metro Manila roads were coming to an end, all in accordance with the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Programme and National Transport Policy. In this paper, Jude Esguerra highlights three types of transportation visions for Metro Manila.   

This publication is part of the Revert or readjust? Designing mobility for liveable and social cities series in which partners of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) examined four cities in Asia to find out how mobility can be designed in such a way that all people can participate in social and economic life, economic development is supported and negative effects for the society and the climate can be eliminated.

Revert or readjust? Metro Manila

Esguerra, Jude

Revert or readjust? Metro Manila

Designing mobility for liveable and social cities
Hanoi, 2022

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