By Mebeelo Kafungwa, UNU-IAS

1.0  Introduction

Globally cities seek to achieve better economic development. Vlahov   (2007), describes cities as predominant mode of living, driven by economic growth and mostly exponentially correlated to the expansion of urban areas that have a concentrated disadvantage. This expansion of urban areas eventually undermines the configuration of any city, nature of services available and living conditions. The complexity and diverse nature of cities creates dynamic urban land use changes.  Therefore, requires modelling methods to understand and project the spatial patterns. However, if we are to achieve urban sustainability, there is need to innovate new analytic frameworks that include all variables of land use change.

It is for this reason that this study aims to subjectively explain the changes that have occurred in, Mega Manila city of the Philippine’s republic. It covers Metro Manila city, found in national capital region which is the national hub of economic growth, productivity and consumption possibly over consumption and over extraction to support regional, national and global economy demands. This positive production for booming economic growth and expansion of national capital region(NCR) onto the Bulacan Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna (neighboring province’s) is driven by economies of scale, competitive pricing and positive externalities. Most recently evidence shows that a creative economy should diversify to all potential land use-economic sectors, effective information technology-communication and planned transport mobility system progressively seeking to devise an inclusive sustainable society.

1.1     Study Area Location

The research study area comprises of Metropolitan Manila to National Capital Region up until Mega Manila Boundaries. Figure 1 below shows map radius proximity from the center of Metropolitan Manila, indicated in red ink was the study area borders, rectangle of the spatial data acquired using remote sensing techniques and an actual example of the 2010 Landsat satellite image having coordinates of left 120.6128 Eastings, top 15.2725 Northings, bottom-13.942 Northings, and right-121.6326 Eastings as illustrated below.

The main objective of this research was to support sustainability action through use of geospatial techniques for monitoring the urban land-use changes and then modeling the future urban land use/land cover sectors of mega Manila city.

This study explains, Why? Where? And how much? this concentration of city built-up area has occurred across major land use sectors including water bodies, forests, built-up area, vegetation and agriculture. Consistently, defining the transformation variables and spatial quantities that drive these land use changes. Developed under the framework umbrella of the Government of the Philippines Mega Manila 2030 Dream Plan (NEDA, 2014). A schematic prediction of future 2020,2030 land use, land cover(LULC) maps across sectors using Land Change Modeler 2.0 for ArcGIS software was achieved. Finally, a conscience implicational scenario analysis of these land use changes across sectors was done. Using LCM for ArcGIS software an impact assessment aiming to understand the study area landscape pattern, change analysis and change process techniques, planned infrastructure changes was also carried out. Specifying infrastructure changes, constraints and the dates they become effective for the change prediction process was modeled. A result corridor map plan for the sustainable mega manila future, incorporating informed data of net GHGs emissions will been proposed.

1.3          Study Implementation

The study is currently ongoing implemented from September 2015 to August 2017. Under the supervision of United Nations University Research Fellow Dr. Binaya Kumar Mishra, in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment, Government of Japan for their support to Urban and Water Initiative Project of United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies in Sustainability. Which allowed a framework to coordinate with the Philippines Project Research team on the ground and the government ministries of the Philippines Republic.