On the occasion of the visit to Rome of Prime Minister of the Yangon Region, Mr U Phyo Min Thein, and following the request of the ITALIA-BIRMANIA.INSIEME Association, ICCROM hosted a seminar on 21 June on “Integrated Conservation of Urban Heritage and Inclusive and Intelligent Cities: possible synergies between Italy and Myanmar, the Yangon Laboratory.”
The Yangon Region, former capital of Myanmar, is at the center of a rapid urbanization process causing serious problems of real estate speculation. In the next 10 years the city is expected to reach a population of over 11 million people. This is a very serious threat to the city’s important architectural heritage dating back to the period of British colonization. It is the intention of the Burmese authorities to launch a policy for museums and optimal use of cultural sites that will support the development of tourism. Local and national institutions must address a series of important political, social and financial challenges to launch a strategic plan for change management that combines urban planning, development and conservation, while avoiding the pitfalls and heavy-handed errors of other countries in the Asian region.
For ICCROM this was a valuable opportunity to serve two Member States and take part in a reflection on the integration of conservation activities into the process of economic development and social inclusion.
The seminar was sponsored by the Italian government: MIBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism), MAECI (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), and the Faculty of Architecture at ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome, whose representatives were strongly engaged in the discussion. In addition, representatives of institutions, NGOs and companies active in the cultural and energy sectors contributed usefully to the discussions.
The seminar conclusions were outlined by Prof. Vincenzo Scotti, President of the ITALIA-BIRMANIA.INSIEME Association.