Owning the city: Civic art’s historical practice and contemporary meaning in Yangon | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 1-3
  • ISSN: 2042-793X
  • E-ISSN: 2042-7948



In recent decades studies on urban development in South East (SE) Asia have focused on a few cities at the expense of overlooking others. Consequently in comparison to some of the region’s metropolises relatively little is known about Rangoon even though its population is in excess of five million people, it is a fundamental component in the economic and cultural make-up of Burma – the largest country in mainland SE Asia, and is a locale rich in built heritage. Yet the existence of much of the city’s historic downtown district, an environment long recognized for its beauty, is now under serious threat. Vast numbers of colonial era edifices are in a state of disrepair. Others are derelict, and some have been condemned for demolition. However, with civil society in Burma undergoing reform as a consequence of political restructuring in 2011, attempts are now being made to formulate policy to safeguard Rangoon’s environmental and artistic integrity. One means by which this is being realized is via appreciating civic art.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): civic art; heritage; national development; Rangoon; urban renewal
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