The emerging 'metropolisation' of Yangon and its challenges
An online interactive lecture by Dr Marion Sabrié from Paris 1 La Sorbonne University, France, in the framework of the IIAS/UKNA Asian Cities Presentation Series.
This webinar will take place from 12:00 - 13:30 p.m. Amsterdam Time (Central European Summer Time, CEST).
Since the elections of 2010 and the accelerated economic openness of Myanmar (formerly Burma), changes are taking place in the country. Those metamorphoses are particularly visible in Yangon’s landscape, which remains the economic capital and the national entry door.
Yangon's population is growing, its suburban areas are expanding, and the limits of its metropolitan area are not well defined yet. As a result of the urban pressure and of the increased influx of people from other regions, as well as foreign investors, the 'metropolisation' is disorganised, leading to scattered construction of new skyscrapers, larger malls, destruction of green spaces, the gentrification of the Central Business District, etc. Because of the new economic legislation, which has allowed a massive importation of cars, Yangon is also facing many other issues, including inadequate road infrastructures, severe traffic congestion, lack of parking spaces, noise and air pollution.
Since environmental, cultural and social costs seem to be high, to what extent do the Yangonites benefit from the economic openness? Based on data collected in the 2014 Census, and years of interviews of local and international actors living in Yangon, I will analyze during my talk the challenges of the authorities and the Yangonites facing urban metamorphoses and issues in the economic transition.
Marion Sabrié currently teaches about the Geography of South East Asia at Paris 1 La Sorbonne University, France. She was an Assistant-Lecturer at Rouen University in 2017-2018, after holding the same position during the previous year in Paris 13 University. She also used to teach during a few years at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO) in Paris. She learnt the Burmese language and dedicated her Master and PhD Theses to Myanmar. She has been travelling there since 2003 and lived in Yangon between 2007 and 2010. Since her experience at the London School of Economics in 2016 in a research team dedicated to urban studies - the Cities Lab -, her postdoc research focuses on the 'metropolisation' of Yangon.
The lecture will take about 45 minutes, after which you will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage directly with the speaker and the rest of the audience.