Manila among world's least resilient cities
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2014 - 11:12am

MANILA, Philippines — Manila is among the world's least resilient cities due to its poor environmental and social adaptive capacity and high vulnerability, according to a British research firm.

In a study conducted by the Grosvenor Group and released on Tuesday, Manila is found in the bottom five of 50 of the world's major metropolitan areas ranked according to their resilience.

The research team defined resilience as the city's adaptive capacity "to bounce back from an adverse event" and low vulnerability in thriving as centers of human habitation, production and cultural development despite environmental challenges and globalization.

"From a real estate investor’s perspective, resilience allows cities to preserve capital values and generate sustainable rental income in the long term. In human terms, cities are resilient if they absorb shocks," Grosvenor research director Richard Barkham said in the report.

The Philippine capital is the least adaptive city after Cairo, Egypt and the fourth most vulnerable to climate change and influx of people and businesses. The combined factors make Manila the fourth least resilient city overall.

In determining Manila's adaptive capacity, the researchers considered whether a government is transparent and accountable, and if it delivers solutions to both long-term and short-term issues.

Manila also has weak institutions instead of consistently delivering long-term projects, poor availability of technology, technical universities and technological expertise as well as a poor disaster management plan including emergency procedures and risk-based land use planning.

Budget resources, ability to borrow and access to national and international funding are also factors that affected Manila's ranking.

Physical events such as floods and typhoons, meanwhile, can also easily endanger Manila, where a huge portion of the population sits in risky locations.

The densely populated city was also found vulnerable to internal tensions due to "unfairness" or abuses and crime.

The capital was also assessed for its infrastructure, on whether it allows healthy habitation and housing, production, culture and ease of transport.

While it relatively enjoys religious and cultural freedom, Manila needs more affordable housing, education and health facilities.

The researchers also measured threats from "pollution of all kinds" and overconsumption of land resources due to urban sprawl.

Found to be most resilient are major Canadian cities Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, respectively. Chicago and Pittsburgh in the United States and Stockholm in Sweden rank fourth to sixth in terms of resilience.

The world's least vulnerable cities are Canada's Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, meanwhile, can adapt most to environmental, cultural and economic challenges.

CHICAGO AND PITTSBURGH GROSVENOR GROSVENOR GROUP MANILA NEW YORK RICHARD BARKHAM TORONTO AND LOS ANGELES TORONTO AND VANCOUVER UNITED STATES AND STOCKHOLM VANCOUVER AND CALGARY
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