UCL Urban Laboratory


From urban informality to living heritage: engaging with Yangon city making practices

04 February 2020, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

Collaborative research project in Yangon, Myanmar

UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies seminar by Dr Catalina Ortiz and Dr Giovanna Astolfo (The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL).

This event is free.

Event Information

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Cecile Bremont


Seminar room 612
UCL Institute of Archaeology
31-34 Gordon Square

Myanmar’s governments have used forced relocation and land confiscation since the 1950s, as a means of achieving ‘Burmanisation’ through acts of spatial violence perpetrated against ethnic, political and religious minorities and the urban poor. Despite an emergent democratisation process, threats of evictions remain. The democratic opening and the geo economic changes of Myanmar in the recent years have fostered a fast transformation of Yangon’s urban fabric. In this fast pace urban changes Yangon’s rich cultural and built environment heritage is under threat and a legal and institutional framework for its preservation is still lacking. Within this context, this presentation will discuss the urban transformation trajectories of the city of Yangon, the multiple key actors and partners we have engaged with and how we have set up an innovative collaborative research project. We will present the general outline of a recently British Academy funded project entitled 'Framing Living Heritage as Tool to Prevent Spatial Violence'. This project will explore the intersection of heritage, land/housing rights, conflict and forced displacement as central issues in the urban dimension of Myanmar’s peace-building processes.

This presentation is based on a project funded by the small grants scheme of the UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS) and the UCL Global Engagement Office (GOE) funds.

Open to all. No Registration required.