Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) is to grant up to $350,000 to support an area-based heritage-led regeneration initiative in three pilot areas in downtown Yangon, the Manila-based regional development organisation said.
The project will be carried out with local partners Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) and Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT).
In each pilot area (street) the investment programme will detail the development and investment opportunities and constraints for infrastructure improvements, and upgrading and renovation of individual properties according to heritage conservation best practice, CDIA said.
Shrinivas Sampath, the head of CDIA, said the aim of the assistance is to provide a feasible development alternative which is more respectful to the historic fabric and also offers more acceptable and affordable alternatives to residents compared to the current practice of real estate development.
“The investment programme should provide the ammunition to make this a convincing alternative: providing the technical, financial, economic and legal parameters all in conjunction with exploring alternatives with home-owners’ associations and models that can generate investment beyond individual buildings, leading to an upgrade in the urban environment in downtown Yangon,” he said.
Dr Toe Aung, director of Urban Planning Department of YCDC, said the investment programme will take up to five months to complete and will equip YCDC and YHT officials with concrete propositions to work with owners, developers and investors to upgrade historic buildings, both private and government.
Dr Thant Myint-U, chairman of YHT, said “This is a unique collaborative effort between government and civil society: to protect the city’s invaluable heritage, promote investment in historic buildings, improve infrastructure, and enable the downtown economic development.
“Finding the right formula that integrates conservation into an urban renewal strategy is the key. This effort will be a major step forward.”
A team of five international and five national experts will be deployed over a total period of six months from February 2015 to implement the project.