Manila’s Resettlement Communities:
How the Built Environment Structures Kid’s Social Lives
Manila, the densest city in the world, actively resettles families from informal-inner city communities to large social housing communities on the urban fringe. This paper describes these resettlements from the perspective of teenage residents (kids). I applied an inductive research methodology and qualitative methods to investigate the relationship between architecture and kid’s social lives. Collaborating with four resettlement communities, I collected and analyzed photographs, interview transcripts, observations, and drawings by kids, community advocates, and government officials. I suggest that kids in the resettlement communities are looking for ways to mentally adjust to their situation as they shift into the reality and responsibility of limited resources. They use cell phones and social media for entertainment and for testing out new identities that are uninhibited by their environmental constraints.