Development and Urbanization
Co-Authors: Elizabeth Rhoads - PhD Candidate, Kingâ€™s College London
As heritage, identity, and public history become increasingly politicised and contested, dominant members of one or varying groups may appropriate or manipulate the conservation narrative for their own interests. This is further complicated by legal frameworks which can work to both protect and complicate the protection of heritage buildings and the rights of their residents. Modern conservation frameworks often come hand-in-hand with strengthening property rights in order to realize security of investment and leverage local assets and credit markets to fund conservation. Yet both conservation frameworks and law and development understandings of property rights as the underutilized productive assets of the poor, often overlook engagement with those who actually live in heritage properties, overestimate the inclusivity of the benefits conservation or legal certainty will bring, or undervalue the consequences that universalised conservation and property rights standards have for poor and marginalized people.
This paper will bring together work on Yangon’s heritage and property rights landscapes, exploring implications for the heritage conservation process in Yangon. In light of the highly dynamic and evolving political and social landscape as the city opens to investment and courts modernisation, this paper aims to contribute to an understanding of the classification and conservation of heritage properties in Yangon, and to complement the overall development discourse in the under researched context of Myanmar