Yangon Heritage Trust regularly organizes and participates in studies, workshops, and trainings related to building conservation and broader urban planning topics.
These have included:
– Building the Future: The Role of Heritage in the Sustainable Development of Yangon
Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) hosted an international conference on the sustainable development of Yangon, Myanmar, from January 15–17, 2015 in partnership with World Monument Fund (WMF). It is in response to the recent political and economic changes in the country and how they are impacting the historic fabric of the former capital, which 100 years ago was one of the leading trade cities of Asia, home to people from across the globe.
The report on the proceeding of the conference can be downloaded here on the WMF’s website.
Others activities _
– Facilitating Impact Journey at the Young Global Leaders Summit (June 2013)
– NUFFIC training on heritage conservation issues (June 2013)
– Heritage management training visits to Australia and Penang, Malaysia
– Asia-Europe Environment Forum: Investing in Heritage Cities (June 2013)
– Temasek Foundation Leaders in Urban Governance Programme (May 2013)
– Managing Conservation Zones forum (January 2013)
– Launching YHT as an organization with the conference, “Towards a Conservation Strategy for Yangon in the 21st Century” in June 2012, which united national and international experts, civil society leaders, and government ministers
Capacity Building of the YCDC Urban Planning Unit for a Better Yangon
The major studies that YHT has done include several studies and workshops sponsored by the European Union. Under the EU funded project named “Capacity Building of the YCDC Urban Planning Unit for a Better Yangon”, YHT closely works with YCDC and Myanmar Egress to strengthen institutional and operational capacities of the Urban Planning Unit to be able to enhance the quality of urban planning policies and practise, to reinforce local governance, to make urban planning processes more inclusive and accessible to citizens and to protect Yangon heritage as part of a broader urban plan. The following activities have been implemented under that project:
Trainings/workshops 1. Built form study workshop was run in August 2014.
2. Urban Livelihoods in Specific Yangon Neighborhoods and the Economics of Heritage Protection Study workshop was conducted in January 2015.
3. Conservation Management Plan as Urban Planning Tool training was done in February 2015.
4. Comparative Legislation Framework on Heritage Protection Study workshop was organized in April 2015. Following these, training for Public Consultation on Heritage Related Matters was done in May 2015.
YHT also advocates for the development and inclusion of Conservation Management Plans (CMPs) prior to any new work on registered urban heritage places or within an urban heritage zone. A leading example of this is the Secretariat Study:
The Secretariat Study
The Minister’s Office, known as the Secretariat during the colonial period, is a heritage building of outstanding national cultural significance. It was the headquarters of government both during the colonial period and afterwards. It was the site of Myanmar’s independence ceremony in 1948 and housed the Myanmar parliament from 1948-1962. Key decisions and events throughout Myanmar’s history took place within its walls for over a century, and it was in the Secretariat that General Aung San and other members of his interim government were assassinated in 1947.
Following discussions with the government and with the Anawmar Gallery, who have been awarded the rights to create a museum in the building, the Yangon Heritage Trust commissioned international heritage expert Philip Davies of Philip Davies Heritage & Planning Ltd. to prepare an outline CMP for the entire site. The objective of the CMP is to explore options for the Secretariat’s future adaptation and reuse and to set out conservation guidelines for its effective long-term management.
The completed CMP was presented to President U Thein Sein and Chief Minister U Myint Swe. It is a preliminary plan which will require further more detailed work and periodic review, but it provides clear recommendations for the future management, maintenance and conservation of this historic site.