The Ideology of the Dual City: The Modernist Ethic in the Corporate Development of Makati City, Metro Manila


Postcolonial cities are dual cities not just because of global market forces, but also because of ideological currents operating through local real‐estate markets — currents inculcated during the colonial period and adapted to the postcolonial one. Following Abidin Kusno, we may speak of the ideological continuity behind globalization in the continuing hold of a modernist ethic, not only on the imagination of planners and builders but on the preferences of elite consumers for exclusive spaces. Most of the scholarly work considering the spatial impact of corporate‐led urban development has situated the phenomenon in the ‘global’ era — to the extent that the spatial patterns resulting from such development appear wholly the outcome of contemporary globalization. The case of Makati City belies this periodization. By examining the development of a corporate master‐planned new city in the 1950s rather than the 1990s, we can achieve a better appreciation of the influence of an enduring ideology — a modernist ethic — in shaping the duality of Makati.