The idea is to give participants a better awareness of broader issues and pressures related to urbanisation and its impact on land. Topics and discussions range from urbanisation trends and growth corridors, the impact of economic development and urbanisation on urban land, land use conversion, densification, physical expansion and peri-urban expansion, planning instruments and land use planning tools, land administration, to infrastructure investment planning. Participants will also go on a field visit to an industrial site and unplanned settlements in Yangon.
The Deputy Director General of DHSHD, U Khin Sein delivered opening remarks on behalf of the new Union Minister for Construction, U Kyaw Lwin, who had returned from the Sixth World Urban Forum held in Naples, Italy in time for swearing in ceremonies in Nay Pyi Taw .
U Khin Sein said: “Myanmar, with the installation of reform strategy in political and economic regimes, is on the road to modernization and development. The anticipated rapid economic development will accelerate urbanisation and increase the size of the cities and urban centres putting additional burden on existing urban infrastructure and services.”
In an opening speech, the UN-Habitat Country Programme Manager, Mr. Bijay Karmacharya said: “One of the urgent priorities for Myanmar today is the management of a vital natural resource: Land. Economic growth will inevitably be accompanied by rapid urbanisation which will impose huge pressures on land.”
He said the pressure on land had to be managed in a balanced manner with consideration to a multitude of factors ranging from infrastructure development, environmental and cultural preservation, risk-sensitive land use and human settlements planning.
“Land management needs to be viewed not only from a physical and structural point of view but also from a socio-economic point of view,” he said.
The Urban Research and Development Institute (URDI) was set up to support the government to meet these challenges, to assist in developing balanced urban development policies, promoting evidence-based research and advocacy, and providing capacity building and technical support to central and regional governments.
URDI is the centerpiece a Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 2011 between UN-Habitat and the Government of the Union of Myanmar, represented by the Ministry of Construction on several areas of policy and technical cooperation including formulation of Housing Policy, National Building Code, National Urban Development Strategy, City Development Strategies, and implementation of Safer Settlements Initiatives.
URDI is the leading urban institute promoting balanced urban development through innovative partnerships for capacity building, research and knowledge management.