Towards a Safe, Smart, Clean and Liveable Yangon

May 24, 2018

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) publishes an annual Global Liveability Ranking which ranks 140 cities for their urban quality of life. The cities are scored based on five categories — stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Our hope is that one day Yangon will be ranked among the Top Ten cities.

Yangon is the economic capital and heart of our nation, with a rich history dating back to the early 11th century. Today, the city’s population of 7 million people contributes 19.3 trillion kyats to the economy, more than a quarter of Myanmar’s GDP.

The need for Yangon to play a pivotal part in the economic development of our nation becomes even more imperative as Myanmar enters a new era of political development. Industrialization and urbanization, an inevitable path that all progressive nations must walk, has come to the fore to meet the challenges of economic growth. Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thien has shown great foresight in implementing this ambitious plan to build a brand new city across the Yangon River.

We envision New Yangon City as a safe, smart, clean and liveable city that will serve as Yangon’s economic hub of the future. The creation of two million jobs is our leading objective. The New Yangon aims to ease the congestion and land pressure across Yangon, develop new economic opportunities, and improve lives of ordinary citizens. It will also provide opportunities for the development of modern business facilities to enhance the long-term regional economic competitiveness of Yangon.

Are We On The Right Track?

NYDC has commissioned global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company to develop a Socio-Economic Masterplan (SEMP) for the New Yangon City. The purpose of the SEMP is:

  • To identify the value proposition for New Yangon
  • To undertake economic analysis and develop sector prioritisation and strategies for the highest economic and job growth plans
  • To create job creation, skills development and human capital development plans
  • To identify the best ways to fast track and incentivise the development of New Yangon City’s industrial corridor
  • To develop an infrastructure phasing plan and urbanisation guidelines
  • To provide an environmental strategy and plan
  • To provide a delivery plan with recommendations on key policy priorities for the Go
  • To recommend governance and risk management processes to NYDC for the long-term sustainability.

We are grateful to U.K. government’s Department for International Development (DFID) for funding this work. McKinsey has done extensive research, analysis, and consultations with a broad range of stakeholders to develop the SEMP. The final report is expected at the end of June, and a summary will be made available to the public.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

The New Yangon City is not intended to compete with Yangon City for more high-end condominiums, more hotel rooms or more commercial space. There is little sense in boosting the numbers in these real estate classes when there is already more than enough of such properties in Yangon City. We will instead focus on providing affordable housing for those who are unable to afford home ownership, and invite them to be the workforce of this new development.

Over time, the New Yangon City will also have high-rise commercial and high-end residential properties as demand emerges. The success of New Yangon City is highly dependent on the success of our industrial and manufacturing estates. And the success of these estates will in turn heavily rely on progressive and business-friendly government policies. Creating the right economic climate for us to compete with our regional neighbours will be the determining factor in our success.

It is with hope and aspiration that one day Yangon will climb to the Top Ten of the Global Liveability Ranking.


Serge Pun

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