Mandalay, Myanmar: The remaking of a Southeast Asian hub in a country at the crossroads

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This profile on Mandalay examines a frequently mentioned but little studied city, which is undergoing significant changes in its urban fabric and socio-economic landscape. After decades of political and economic isolation Mandalay is set to return to its once-held role of important trade and transport hub in South-East Asia. As it looks at Mandalay’s geographical location and physical context, the article highlights the impact of climate change on a city already vulnerable to extreme weather effects. This is followed by an account of how the different historical phases experienced by the city impacted on its physical structure, with different sets of buildings accompanying its historical evolutions. Subsequently, the article describes Mandalay’s current socio-spatial structures and reviews key policy and planning developments, before zooming in on a key development project currently in progress. Technical support and funding from the international community are playing a key role in assisting national and local authorities turn Mandalay into a resilient and sustainable city in the heartland of South-East Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-286
Issue numberB
Early online date11 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Mandalay
  • Southeast Asia
  • urban development and planning
  • Mandalay urban services improvement project
  • climate change and sustainability
  • urban studies
  • Global South
  • global cities
  • cities sustainability
  • Asia


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