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Urban land use

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Title: Yangon’s Development Challenges
Date of publication: March 2012
Description/subject: Overview: "Yangon is an attractive and relatively livable city that is on the brink of dramatic change. If the government of Myanmar continues its recent program of economic and political reform, the economy of the country is likely to take off, and much of the growth will be concentrated in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city and commercial capital. This paper argues that Yangon is poorly prepared to cope with the pressures of growth because it has only begun to develop a comprehensive land use and development plan for the city that would guide the location of key activities including export-oriented industries and port terminals. In addition, the city lacks the financial resources to finance the infrastructure and other public services required to serve the existing population, let alone support a population that is larger and better off. Failure to address these challenges will not only make Yangon a less livable city but will also reduce the rate of economic growth for the entire country. Myanmar needs a dynamic and vibrant Yangon to thrive."..."...In sum, Yangon and Myanmar appear to be on the verge of explosive growth, making up for decades of stagnation or decline. Yangon is almost certain to become a key engine in the nation’s economic growth as Myanmar’s largest city, commercial capital, most important port and tourist destination, and most logical site for export-oriented manufacturing. But how well Yangon fulfills these roles depends on how well the city is managed. Yangon’s slow growth in the past had a hidden benefit in that it preserved many assets—greenery, parks and open spaces and historic buildings—that other Asian cities lost. As a result, Yangon has an opportunity to avoid becoming another sprawling, polluted and highly congested Asian megacity and grow instead into a greener and more livable metropolis. But it will do so only if it prepares a plan before development threatens to overwhelm it. And the plan will succeed only if it is based on thoughtful and realistic analyses of issues like the location of special economic zones and ports and the provision of affordable housing and quality infrastructure."
Author/creator: José A. Gómez-Ibáñez, Derek Bok, Nguyá»…n Xuân Thành
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ash Center, for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard University
Format/size: pdf (452K)
Date of entry/update: 08 July 2012

Date of publication: 1991
Description/subject: The oft-cited UN Habitat report on the 1989-1990 urban resettlement programme in Burma which the report estimates affected 1.5 million people (16 percent of the urban population). "...During the early months of 1990 international attention was focused on the Yangon squatter clearance and resettlement programme launched by the Government in 1989. The Mission found that the programme is not limited to Yangon, but has broad national coverage. The scale and characteristics of the land-development and other works was considered by the Mission to be of such overwhelming significance to the present and future urban situation that the Mission concentrated its resources on attempting to assemble a comprehensive record of the programme and assessing the impacts and implications. The programme consists of: (a) land development for sites-and- services resettlement schemes, and for complete housing units for public servants; (b) new and improved roads; (c) urban rail transport; (d) road, rail and pedestrian bridges; (e) parks and gardens; (f) redevelopment for commercial and residential uses of sites cleared as a result of resettlement and fires; (g) clean-up campaigns, building renovations, and repainting of facades; and (h) rehabilitation of drains and water bodies. For the size of the overall country population and for an urban population of less than 10 million, the scale of works within the time period allocated is probably unprecedented internationally. Based on visits to selected towns, analysis of maps and layout plans, and the data supplied by GAD and HD, the Mission estimates that the total population affected by the resettlement and new housing components is in the order of 1.5 million, or 4 per cent of the total population, and 16 percent of the urban population. Roughly 50 per cent of this number is in Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi and Bago, all centres visited by the Mission..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)
Format/size: pdf (2.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 10 January 2007