Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)

First Advisor

Guerra, Erick

Second Advisor

Ammon, Francesca Russello


Metro Manila is the Philippines’ political and economic capital. With 20 million inhabitants and a land area of only 550 sq. miles, it is Southeast Asia’s most densely populated megacity. In many ways, Metro Manila’s urban development mirrors the challenges faced by rapidly urbanizing cities: economic opportunities are disproportionately concentrated in the capital, rising land values in the urban core have pushed residents towards the fringes, weak planning and enforcement have resulted in unchecked development, and unreliable public transportation coupled with a growing middle class have increased motorization rates.

To address these challenges, cities have turned to land use strategies, which have the potential to influence travel and ownership behavior. While several studies have explored this relationship, research on how the built environment’s effect varies across private motorized modes remains limited. To fill this gap, I sought to answer the following research questions: What is the relationship between the built environment and car ownership and use in Metro Manila? How does this relationship differ for motorcycle ownership and use?

Using data from the 2015 Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Study Home Interview Survey, I find that the built environment influences vehicle ownership and use differently. Population, job, and intersection densities as well as the land use mix influence car ownership, while population and job densities and distance to the central business district are correlated with motorcycle ownership and use. Proximity to a railway station and diverse land uses influence both motorcycle and car use. These findings could help inform strategies for reducing motorization rates and shifting towards more sustainable transportation in Metro Manila.


Concentration: Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Planning