Experts call for providing more public spaces in Yangon

To improve the quality of life and as a momentary escape from the exhausting concrete jungle, the urban developers have called for providing more public spaces in Yangon during the discussion on how to conserve Yangon heritage.

“Some streets in Latha Township [Yangon Chinatown] are meant for two-storey buildings. But for now, these places are overcrowded with six- and seven-storey apartments. There’s almost no consideration for social wellbeing,” argued Hlaing Maw Oo, an expert in civil planning from the Ministry of Construction.

Such apartments are cramped, not well-lit and ventilated, and are not suitable places to live in, the experts suggested, adding that the infrastructure development is crucial to improve quality living standards.

Yangon is getting overcrowded each day and the streets are not fit for strolling anymore because the expanding concrete jungle, resulting in stressful lifestyles.

Additionally, the ports and jetties of the largest commercial city are under the control of governmental body and the urban planners advised establishing riverside recreation. In order to do so, the future projects should be at least 25-foot distance from the riverbank.

Even the Botahtaung jetty, the only riverside scenery left unexploited in Yangon, is now reserved to make way for a floating hotel and the public space has been breached.

“Docksides in Yangon are preoccupied by the warehouses of Myanmar Port Authority. So, we need a long time plan for such places with both sides — the government and the public – taking part in the plan. The port area of Pathein now offers pedestrian lanes and night markets for relaxation. I mean Yangon can follow this step,” said Moh Moh Lwin, the director of Yangon Heritage Trust.

The city also plans more overpasses with escalators in the new fiscal year, according to the Roads and Bridges Department under the Yangon City Development Council (YCDC).

The Yangon Regional Government Committee plans to build six overpasses. Among the overpasses, some will have escalators. The Yangon mayor submitted a proposal to build the six overpasses that were expected to cost Ks 1.52 billion to the regional parliament special meeting held in December last year.

“In coming fiscal year, we are going to build six overpasses. Among the overpasses, some will have escalators and some will not. We can’t install the escalators in all overpasses because they are very expensive,” said an official from the YCDC’s Roads and Bridges Department.

Although the government planned to build the overpasses with escalators before the SEA Games in 2013, only one overpass with an escalator was built on Strand Road near Pasodan- Dalat Jetty last year.

Despite the construction of the overpass, some pedestrians are not using it because the escalator is not running full-time.

Source: The Nation

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