Managing climate change is synonymous to managing cities and their growth. To shoulder the challenge of climate change adaptation, informal settlement upgrading in the global south has amounted to the importance of being attuned with the growth of its city and region at large. Changing the paradigm of on-site upgrading to being community-driven and city-led with domestic funding unlocks potentials for community resilience building, especially in countries that strive for inclusive growth.
This research looks into informal settlement development dynamics and its resilience stance in conjunction of the metropolitan growth in three Southeast Asian countries. Greater Manila Area, Bangkok Metropolitan Region and Hanoi Capital Region serve as the backdrop for this investigation. The research mainly addresses informal settlement upgrading roles, mechanism and approaches for resilience building in these three metropolises, meanwhile also unveiling their city-regional development needs. The methodological approach of this study is highly participatory, demonstrating a hybrid of multi-spectrum stakeholder workshops, online surveys (due to COVID), expert interviews, project interim reports and correspondence with the local expert team in the three countries, etc. The paper attempts at providing a cross-country appraisal of the central strategies of informal settlement upgrading, related institutional constellations and upgrading applications along with the three metropolises’ urban development. This attempt accentuates the pressing needs of mitigating multi-facet vulnerability of informal communities, who are the most adversely affected by climate change and rampant urbanization. Further, this research will also reveal the mindset change of how decision-makers and the public contemplate upgrading objectives, e.g., recasting secure tenure instruments.