Department für Geographie





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LIRLAP: Linking Disaster Risk Governance and Land-use Planning: the case of informal settlements in hazard-prone areas in the Philippines

Fachgebiet: Geographische Entwicklungsforschung, Geographische Gesellschaft-Umwelt-Forschung, Modellierung, Regionale Geographie, Stadtgeographie
Gefördert durch: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Projektleitung: Prof. Dr. Matthias Garschagen, Dr. Andrea Reimuth
Projektwissenschaftler: , , Dr. Olabisi Obaitor, Dr. Andrea Reimuth

Laufzeit: 03/2021 - 02/2025


Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), this project is a collaboration between LMU HER, the Institute of Spatial Planning (IRPUD), TU Dortmund and the Institute for Regional Planning and Development Planning (IREUS) University of Stuttgart from Germany. International partners include the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment at the Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA), Vietnam, the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) at the University of the Philippines, and the Urban Futures & Policy Research Unit of the Thammasat University in Thailand (UFP).

LIRLAP examines urban risk governance and risk-based land-use planning for marginalized communities in Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, namely the urban poor who live in informal settlements along the respective regions’ waterways.

The project integrates sustainable spatial development and risk management. With a focus on urban risk governance, the project seeks long-standing strategies on:

1) Sustaining resettlement sites via urban livelihood strategies 

2) On-site upgrading for community resilience in building and piloting resilience design in selected case studies within informal settlements

3) Analysis of the spatial structure of Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces to accommodate future resettlement; 

4) Preparing for peripheral mid-size cities’ growth 

5) Diverging urban growth into other regional metro-areas so as to augment growth absorption. 

After a successful Definition phase the ongoing Research and Development phase focusses on the development, testing and application of knowledge-based solutions for relocation and upgrading of informal settlements located in urbanized areas with high disaster risk. Metro Manila serves as pilot site for the development and testing of approaches and their mainstreaming into existing planning processes and practices in disaster risk management on all political levels in the Philippines. The project seeks to transfer the methods, knowledge and planning guidelines to and from Thailand and Vietnam and establishes a basis for the transfer in other Asian regions. Living labs, training courses and a Dual PhD Program are aimed to build up a new generation of local experts on disaster risk reduction and management and urban governance.

General information of the project is available at

LMU contributions

The LMU leads the subproject “Risk trends and resettlement options with urban growth”, which aims to analyze and assess the influences of urban growth coupled with socio-economic development on risk modifications of informal settlements in Metro-Manila. For that purpose, the urban growth model SLEUTH will be further developed considering building types, urban morphology classes and socio-economic development scenarios (Shared Socio‐Economic Pathways - SSPs). The advanced version of the model will then be transferred to the partner cities Hanoi and Bangkok. Bottom-up qualitative scenario analysis is implemented through several workshops that involve stakeholders of national and city government level, and local practitioners from the three participating cities. The developed bottom-up scenarios are used to validate the modelling outputs and therefore further facilitate the application of the results into practice. The outcomes and new methodical developments are also prepared for training and teaching content and disseminated in a larger region for transfer. 

Within the LIRLAP project, LMU further leads the mainstreaming of upgrading and retreat strategies. This includes the development and formalization of the LIRLAP approach into a user-friendly, coherent conceptual framework, methodology and practical mechanism for mainstreaming upgrading and retreat of Disaster Risk Reduction strategies. The mainstreaming will serve two purposes:

    1) Support evidence-based development from modelling risk to informed decision making with respect to strategy, particularly in relation to retreat and upgrading. 
      2) To help users to more clearly identify opportunities and limitations for mainstreaming the approach across sectors, scales and different planning horizons, requiring them to identify sectoral silos and governance gaps and develop plans to address these. 

        Cross-sectoral workshops will facilitate informal institutional engagement between the sectors land-use planning, disaster-risk management, and further related sectors such as housing and social assistance.

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