This chapter examines the inter-scalar governance dynamics of market-oriented city-building projects that are proliferating in the Manila mega-urban region, in the midst of the longest-running property boom in the Philippines' post-dictatorship history. Specifically, it examines local governance transformations that have been catalyzed by the two largest of these ventures: the 1,180-hectare Alviera green township by Ayala Land Inc., and the 9,400-hectare Clark Green City project of the parastatal Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). Situating the analysis of these projects amidst trends in neoliberal urban governance, it finds that the development of these ventures has witnessed the formation of new constellations of power and urban governance, often through the deployment of exceptionalist and scale-manipulating strategies of intervention. Such processes, to wit, have seen one project developer assume de facto acting government status for its host municipality, while another has positioned itself as a strong-state steerer of private sector operations to achieve slum-free urbanization. Yet despite these differences, uncanny parallelisms between both proponents machineries of power and institutional boundary-setting practices are observed. Beyond the Philippines, the examined dynamics may also help illuminate city-building initiatives in other developing countries that have systematically neoliberalized their economies, and democratized and decentralized their state apparatuses.
Cruz, J. (2019). Great Transformations : The Political Economy of Megaproject Development in the Manila peri-urban periphery. In R. Barbaza (Ed). Making sense of the city : public spaces in the Philippines. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1-40.