…Yangon is at inflection point. It could easily go the way of other Asian cities – heavily polluted, with terrible traffic congestion, big concrete towers and little or nothing to distinguish it from any other Asian city. Or we could plan properly and protect what we have – not just the Shwedagon [Pagoda] but the sublime views of Shwedagon from all around the city, the lakes and the many green spaces, the old homes and buildings, the historic tree-lined avenues and downtown areas, the university campus and so on and build a modern 21st century city around that. It would make Yangon the most liveable and beautiful city in the region.
A previous analysis of Yangon and its position in Myanmar society is available here. Thant Myint-U has organised a conference this week looking at Yangon’s future, and the best mechanisms for conserving its architectural and cultural heritage.