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The social production of public space in an informal settlement: a case study of Sitio Pechayan, Metro Manila

Yu, D. P. L. (2022) The social production of public space in an informal settlement: a case study of Sitio Pechayan, Metro Manila. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00111925


Informal settlements have been historically perceived in negative terms which are attributed to gaps in knowledge on informality. As more studies were conducted on informal settlements that focused on its value, this perception of marginality was challenged. The academic community started reconsidering the value of informal settlement in urban studies as an alternative mode of urban development. This thesis aims to contribute to this debate by exploring the production of public spaces in an informal settlement as both a spatial and social process. This research utilizes Lefebvre's social production of space and acts of everyday resistance to understand the relationship between the different actors and their roles. The case study is an urban informal settlement in Metro Manila called Sitio Pechayan. The research adopted a case study approach to document the history and the current state of the different public spaces of the informal settlement. Five key public spaces were the focus of the fieldwork. A total of thirty-two semi-structured interviews were conducted. This thesis makes three key findings. First, public space is continually being socially produced through the everyday activities of the community. Second, the state utilizes informal practices to assert their authority either by granting concessions or through political patronage. Third, the close connection of the residents with the public spaces was fostered by its value to their everyday life and their involvement in its production. These attributes are necessary for residents to feel a sense of ownership for their public space. Finally, the research contributes towards an expanded understanding on the production of public space; one that is underpinned by social and power relations. By framing the informal production of space as a social process, this research provides a comprehensive insight into informal settlements and its public space. It also brings into question of what informality really mean to urban studies.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Plaza, P.
Thesis/Report Department:School of the Built Environment
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment
ID Code:111925


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