Nay Pyi Taw, 23 October 2019 – “The Consultation Workshop on Smart City Strategy for National Urban Policy (NUP) in Myanmar” was jointly organized by UN-Habitat in partnership with the Department of Urban Housing and Development (DUHD) of the Ministry of Construction (MoC). The workshop was held on 23rd October 2019 at Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. This workshop’s objective was to acquire information for a Smart City Strategy (SCS) in Myanmar.
The Workshop was attended by the Director General (DG) of DUHD, senior DUHD officials, DUHD advisors, representatives from City Development Committees of Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, Smart City Chief Officers, members of the National Urban Committee, development partners, professional associations and the Urban Policy Experts from UN-Habitat Headquarters. A total of 80 persons participated.
U Min Htein, the DG of DUHD delivered his opening remarks stating that “We should aim to produce a unified SCS that guides the use of digital transformations taking place at the local and national levels by making use of opportunities from sustainable urban planning, digitalization, clean energy and technologies”. The DG also expressed that the SCS ingrained within the NUP will help in addressing the rising urban issues whilst achieving economic, social and environmental goals.
Mr. Bijay Karmacharya, Country Programme Manager of UN-Habitat in Myanmar delivered welcoming remarks. He outlined that “SCS is an innovative approach that will improve the quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental aspects”. Mr. Karmacharya stated that he believes Myanmar, which is already in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, will be able to effectively formulate and implement smart city strategies to support NUP.
Mr. Kibong Lee, the technical advisor of UN-Habitat based in Nairobi, delivered the “Introduction on SCS in NUP”. In his presentation, Mr. Lee elaborated how the SCS can be established in NUP Framework. He also recommended that data collection for feasibility study, formulation of SCS and identification of demonstration projects for the implementation are the important steps for smart city development in Myanmar.
Daw Aye Aye Myint, the Deputy Director General (DDG) from DUHD, delivered a presentation on “Smart City Approach in Myanmar”. The DDG presented that three major cities (Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw) have already started to implement smart approaches to deal with the urban issues. Furthermore, she explained the brief backgrounds of initiating mega smart projects which are the Korea-Myanmar Industrial Estate, Eco-green city, New Mandalay Resort city and the smart district project in Yangon.
The highlight of the workshop was the presentations on “Smart City Approaches at City Level” presented by the chief smart city officers from respective City Development Committees of Yangon (YCDC), Mandalay (MCDC) and Nay Pyi Taw (NCDC). U Myo Aung, the smart city officer from the NCDC presented “Smart City Action Plans (SCAPs) for Nay Pyi Taw” and briefly explained about the smart cities programmes for Nay Pyi Taw; affordable housing & low cost housing project and international comprehensive university project. Daw Tin Tin Kyi, the smart city officer from YCDC delivered a presentation on ongoing smart geo-spatial platform programmes; mapping Yangon, installation of continuously operating reference station and online Yangon Building Permit System (YBPS). U Ye Myat Thu, the smart city officer from MCDC, presented how Mandalay city had successfully implemented smart approaches in land information management system, resource management, solid waste management system, fleet management and vehicle information system coordinated adaptive traffic system, traffic control system, traffic flow collecting system, online business registration system and road facilities.
The presentations were followed by the group discussions in which the participants actively discussed smart city elements, the challenges and barriers and the strategies to address the challenges. After the discussion, the outcomes and suggestions were presented by each group.
The SCS will be closely linked with the goals of the NUP. Therefore, the development of the SCS and Guideline will be taken forward in parallel with the formulation of the NUP.