Planning a city from scratch is a bit like having a clean sheet of paper to draw on – it could be daunting, while at the same time, exhilarating. It has been done before, all over the world. We see success stories such as Singapore; with the city-state today reaping the fruits of its master planning. Diligently laid out in the 1960s, good planning transformed the newly-independent country where nearly three out of four people lived in slums, to what we see today, a thriving, modern city. Poor city planning or the lack of planning, on the other hand, would sow the seeds of urban ills.
I’ve noticed that lately the debate between developing ‘wasteful white elephant’ buildings versus the inclusion of shiny skyscrapers and luxury housing in the New Yangon City has been a keen focus for commentators, social media bloggers and the public. Therefore, this is what I will cover in this week’s discussion.