Water in the city is mainly focused on infrastructure development, urban design and transportation framework which inclu...

Water in the city is mainly focused on infrastructure development, urban design and transportation framework which include as a major factor in developing Yangon. Moreover, urbanization become more and more complex and manifold, these four main topics are particularly spotlights of water-related development: 

River Transport

As the chaotic traffic in the city worsens every day and commuters are forced to waste valuable time in transit, Yangon is calling for “River Transport” which could save time and also can lead to lower air pollution. To help reduce transportation time and traffic jams, it is critical for authorities to make better use of the city’s waterways. Navigation channels are needed to be upgraded not only for transporting commuters but also for transporting goods. If the waterways can take more container transport, this could help alleviate traffic in downtown Yangon, where heavy trucks ship containers in and out of the city throughout the day.


Heavy monsoon rain causes serious flooding in Yangon every rainy season. People in Yangon also suffer floods caused by the inadequate drainage system. Floods caused by heavy rains block the road networks, resulting in the traffic jams. People have to use main roads as there are no platforms to walk. Roads in Yangon are also in need of maintenance. The height of roads in Yangon grows higher due to the resurfacing of damaged roads. Water flows into the houses when there are heavy rains. The government needs to effectively deal with this problem by laying down a master plan to use a large sum of money on the drainage system and roads and bridges.

City Design

Yangon is suffering flooding every monsoon due to climate change and increased urban development. It is essential to design Yangon as a flood-proof city and give space for water to live in. As there are some unused and empty spaces in Yangon, they can be revitalized as rainwater reservoirs and even as water parks which serve as recreation spot. Construction of rooftop gardens and permeable roads that store runoff will also reduce the amount of rainwater runoff. But the vision of flood-resilient Yangon can only be achieved when there is coordination among stakeholders, governments, and citizens.

Ecosystem Services

Current projections of rapid expansion of urban areas present fundamental challenges to design more livable, healthy and resilient Yangon. Integrating ecosystem services including green spaces such as parks, urban forests, vacant lots, gardens and blue spaces like streams, lakes, ponds, artificial swales, and storm water retention ponds into urban development would be a ‘no-regret’ investment for Yangon. The cooling effect of trees from urban parks may contribute significantly to reduce the rising temperatures of the city in summer. And also the ponds and reservoirs will collect rainwater and prevent flooding during the time of heavy rains.

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