Burma’s former capital Rangoon is gearing up for major developments with a new zoning proposal that includes a recreational riverside green zone and demarcated heritage zones, revealed in a public forum on Wednesday in Rangoon’s City Hall.
The forum was hosted by the Yangon [Rangoon] City Development Committee (YCDC), and a 10-member subcommittee, Yangon City Land Utility and Demarcation Department, which advocated for the inclusion of a 25ft-wide green zone along the Rangoon River.
“There aren’t many public parks in the downtown area. We want a designated recreation zone along the port area where children can play and people can exercise,” said department member Hlaing Maw Oo.
The proposed park would be at least 25ft wide and stretch along the riverside through Botahtaung, Kyauktada, Pabedan, Latha and Lanmadaw townships, providing public playgrounds and outdoor fitness centres. The city currently has four commonly acknowledged “green spaces”: Maha Bandoola Park, Kandawgyi and Inya lakes, and the Hlawga National Park.
Plans for the development and protection of shared, green city spaces entered into the city’s zoning discussions when open tender was announced for various parts of the Yangon Port Development Project last year.
“Essentially, the land is state-owned, so it is appropriate for public use,” said Hlaing Maw Oo.
Kyaw Latt, advisor to the YCDC, said that 11 types of city zones will be proposed to parliament in efforts to regulate the city’s rapid development.
The YCDC proposal would demarcate parts of the city into one of 11 categories: Quiet Zone; Moderate Population Zone; Dense Population Zone; General Urban Utilisation Zone; Trade and Economic Zone; Industrial and Warehouse Zone; Port Related Zone; Green and Water Zone; Government Institution Zone; City Heritage Zone; and Port Special Development Zone.
The Rangoon Port Authority announced open tender for the four port developments that make up the Yangon Port Modern Development Project in 2012. Tender licenses for Nan Thidar and Dala ferry terminals along the Yangon port were awarded to the New Downtown Development Co., Ltd under a 30-year Build Operate and Transfer contract, according to the Port Authority.
DVB reported last week that a proposal to build high-rise condominiums and shops along Rangoon’s landmark Strand Road was met with objections from the YCDC who say that the project falls within Rangoon’s cultural heritage zone where buildings higher than 160 feet are prohibited, according to the Minister of Transport Nyan Tun Aung.
Speaking at a press conference at the Myanmar Port Authority office on Strand Road on 25 November, the minister complained that the municipal office did not raise any objections to the port development project when an invitation for tender bidding was announced last year. Known as the Nan Thidar Project, the development would include a 20-story condominium, a 16-story luxury hotel, a shopping mall, recreation centres, shops, a marina and a pier.