This project uses the infrastructures proposed by Duterte in Manila to improve flooding resiliency by leveraging the viaducts and bridges for community and public use. Specifically, the North-South Railway Project viaduct is reconfigured as a symbiotic, site-specific intervention in a green area between Valenzuela, Malabon, and Caloocan neighborhoods.






1.7 million people


Rafael Garcia-Monge, Gabriel Munoz

The Flooding Challenge

One of the main climatic events with which Manila struggles more, is flooding caused by the monsoon seasons, and by typhoons, which inundate the city repeatedly during the year – challenging the existing hard infrastructures proposed by the previous governments, and decreasing the wellbeing of the most needed.

Digging in the proposals of Duterte’s presidency, 100% of them are purely to improve mobility, finding no proposal to improve the flooding condition. Only the World Bank proposes a plan, which is mainly based on continuing the development of hard infrastructure proposals (such as dams, barriers, or sea fronts), forecasting techniques, and drainage systems; elements that are already being challenged with the current situation.

The flooding issues that Manila has is mostly related to the lack of green spaces, which makes of Manila’s conurbation an impermeable asphalt and concrete layer that worsen the seasonal floods. Acknowledging the urban densification, urban footprint and migration processes that will follow the infrastructure development, and the lack of resilient masterplans, it is recognized that without a proper masterplan for flooding resiliency, the future well-being of Manila’s inhabitants is questionable.

A Symbiotic Infrastructure

To contribute to Manila’s flooding resiliency, this project proposes the thesis of multiplying the utility of the infrastructures proposed by Duterte in a territorial acupuncture fashion. This thesis takes advantage of the way of how this infrastructure is build through the city – through a series of viaducts and bridges that jump over the existing urban network, and remain safe in case of floods. In this sense, a railway’s viaduct will not only serve for mobility purposes, but to inhabit a community, to propose public spaces, facilities, and commerce to the surrounding neighborhood.

The case study presented here, takes the North-South Railway Project (NSRP), a high speed train that connects the most ruralized areas of Luzon (North and South), and reconfigures its viaduct towards a symbiotic, site specific intervention. The specific point selected in the railway, is one of the few green areas within Metro Manila, in between the neighborhoods of Valenzuela, Malabon, and Caloocan, current attractor points for the incoming rural population.

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