Yangon New City Project to be Remodelled with Tower Blocks Included

The current New City project in Myanmar’s commercial capital will be remodelled to accommodate the city’s projected population growth and tower blocks will be part of the new plan, according to a Yangon Region minister.

Daw Nilar Kyaw, the regional minister for electricity, industry and transportation, made the remarks on July 10 during a special parliamentary meeting.

Yangon will become a megacity with over 10 million residents within the next decade, so the city’s administration plans to remodel the current new city project plan into a new one to suit the growing population density, she said.

According to the latest census, there are 7.36 million inhabitants in Yangon. The population growth in 2014-15 was 1.48 million. The projections suggest that there will be 8.68 million in 2020, 9.69 million in 2026 and 10.72 million residents by 2031, she added.

To cater for the increase in population, the city needs to expand in terms of geographical area and start building tower blocks, and the Yangon New City project needs to scale up as well, Daw Nilar Kyaw said.

“To accommodate Yangon’s future population growth, expanding the city ‘horizontally’ is not sufficient.

“It also needs to expand ‘vertically’ to increase population density by building tower blocks and skyscrapers,” she said.

The population density of Yangon was 120 people per square metre in 1973, 387 people in 1983 and 716 people in 2014. According to research statistics, the city can expand to accommodate no more than 2,500 people per square metre, she said.

To implement the Yangon New City project, a new Yangon Development Corporation will be established. The Corporation will be the highest authority to manage and make decisions regarding the project. Investments supporting the project will be sought from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and it will also be financed by commercial loans from abroad, said Daw Nilar Kyaw.

Regional MP Daw Sandar Min (NLD; Seikgyi Khanaungto 1), chair of the Financing, Economic and Planning Committee, demanded more information for the project.

“The minister said the New City project will be changed and remodelled again, but that is a great master project.

“We need to know the details and have more discussions about that project,” she said, adding that the remodelled new city project should be discussed in detail at the next parliament session.

“I hope to have a chance to discuss the New City project in parliament,” she said.

Moreover, the regional government should change or remodel the New City project only after open discussions with parliament and only with the parliament’s consent, she said.

The New City project was confirmed by the authority earlier this year. It marked a change in mindset in the regional administration – a shift of focus from transforming existing downtown Yangon to building new urban centres bordering downtown.

In January, Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe said the city is most concerned with quickly accommodating its rapidly growing population through prioritising zoning and expansion plans.

He told The Myanmar Times at that time that the regional government is moving forward with plans to extend the commercial capital by building up the western townships through the Yangon New City project. The expansion envisions building up Kyeemyindaing, Seikgyi Kanaungto and Twante townships to alleviate pressure on the current infrastructure and redirect foot traffic to new housing and commercial hubs.

In contrast, the 2040 master plan envisioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) largely targets improvements to existing urban infrastructure, he said. JICA’s master plan, which includes upgrades to transportation and traffic management, and improvements to the water system, does not address the controversial new city development.

JICA submitted an updated version of its 2040 blueprint in December, redrawing its 2012 mock-up.


Source: The Myanmar Times

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