Mass relocation—the transfer of communities to new housing developments—is often implemented following disasters, despite criticism that past projects have not created livable communities for residents. Livable relocation communities are those where residents experience quality housing, utilities, social infrastructure, neighborliness, safety, and a sense of permanence. Numerous conditions may support livability, such as site location, community involvement, and processes of managing construction and beneficiary transfer. We evaluated relocation communities in Tacloban City, Philippines, applying Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify pathways, or combinations of conditions, that led to built and societal livability. We found pathways to livability generally differed between government and non-government developed sites, with the former benefiting from a slower pace and standard permitting procedures, and the latter by building fast and using scale and need to prompt improved services. An unexpected combination emerged as a pathway to societal livability—being remote and comprised of households originally from a mix of different communities—revealing a new narrative for positive social outcomes in relocation. Three conditions emerged as necessary for achieving overall livability: fast construction, full occupancy, and close proximity to an economic and administrative center. This analysis demonstrates necessary conditions and pathways that implementing agencies can reference in their quest to create livable relocation communities

Palagi, S. and Javernick-Will, A. (2020) “Pathways to livable relocation settlements following disaster”. Sustainability. 12(8), 3474; 10.3390/su12083474