Philippine cities are facing unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic, social and spatial challenges. There has been a phenomenal shift towards urbanization, with 5 out of every 10 Filipinos living in cities, with an estimated 84 percent of Filipinos expected to reside in urban areas by 2050. This growth is expected to happen not only in the capital Metro Manila but mainly in small and intermediate cities. The consequences of this rapid urbanization are dramatic.
In many big and small cities in the Philippines, the effects can already be felt: lack of the vulnerable and poor’s access to land and proper housing, growth of slums, inadequate and outdated infrastructure, urban sprawl, families facing poverty and unemployment, safety and crime problems, pollution and health issues, as well as the impacts of natural or man-made disasters and other catastrophes due to the effects of climate change or man-made stressors such as conflict. UN-Habitat recognizes that urbanization is an opportunity to address these effects and leave nobody behind.