YANGON (Xinhua) – The Philippine-based Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) offered $350,000 to upgrade three pilot areas in downtown Yangon, the Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) said today.
In each pilot area, the investment program will detail the development and investment opportunities and constraints for infrastructure improvements as well as upgrading and renovation of individual properties according to heritage conservation best practice, the YHT said in a statement.
A five-member team, including international and five national experts, will be deployed over a period of six months from February.
CDIA head Shrinivas Sampath 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 program 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.
YHT Chairman Thant Myint-U 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.”
The YHT, an independent center, advocates for heritage protection, develops clear and sustainable policy options, engages with government, business and civil society, communicates its ideas to the widest possible audience, undertakes specific conservation projects and facilitates research and training.