The global rise of mega-urban regions (MUR) signifies the impending dominance of this new urban form. Focusing on Manila's MUR, this paper contributes by mapping the demographic landscape of the MUR to account for its spatial form, patterns and trajectories. Using a hotspot analysis of disaggregated barangay-level data, significant 'local' clusters of population growth and decline are calculated over two decades. When mapped, three local patterns are observed: (1) outward expansion of high- and low-growth clusters; (2) development of new growth nodes on the fringes; and (3) recent emergence of high-growth clusters in the core. The patterns illustrate the volatile and chameleon-like configurations of the MUR. The paper also demonstrates how calculated clusters may be used as contextual compasses to expose critical mega-urban processes. With local-level data on settlement histories, development projects and socio-political events, the paper historicises landuse change, demolitions and relocations to unveil site-specific dispossessions in the MUR.
- spatial demography
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