Building the Future: The Role of Heritage in the Sustainable Development of Yangon

World Monuments Fund (WMF) and the Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) are hosting the forum Building the Future: The Role of Heritage in the Sustainable Development of Yangon, January 15-17, 2015. The forum will be hosted at the historic Strand Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar. Yangon was included in the 2014 World Monuments Watch to call attention to the exceptional cultural heritage values that are under intense development pressures as the city advances its efforts to expand its economic goals. Yangon is in a position to establish itself as an exemplary twenty-first century Asian city where heritage conservation and modernization are developed within a sustainable urban planning approach. The forum will address the challenges Yangon faces in achieving this vision and will provide practical policy recommendations to realize the economic, social, and physical benefits that heritage conservation, as a key component of sustainable development, can provide. Invited participants and speakers include key decision makers and stakeholders in Yangon’s urban development, including government officials, developers, local planning and preservation professionals, members of the diplomatic and NGO communities, international organizations, and experts in sustainable development and heritage conservation. Invitees have been asked to share their knowledge and experience to engage in constructive discussion about how to most effectively approach the core challenges of heritage and sustainable development. The forum will result in a published report on the proceedings and a set of policy recommendations.

Keynotes & Chairs

  • H.E. Derek Mitchell, United States Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Burma (Myanmar)
  • Francesco Rutelli, Italian Minister of Culture and former Mayor of Rome
  • H.E. U Hla Myint, Mayor of Yangon on behalf of U Myint Swe, Chief Minister of Yangon Region Government
  • U Soe Thane, Minister of the President's Office of Myanmar
  • Bonnie Burnham, World Monuments Fund
  • Thant Myint-U, Yangon Heritage Trust
  • Vicky Bowman, Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business


  • U Toe Aung, Yangon City Development Committee
  • Erica Avrami, World Monuments Fund
  • John Fitzgerald, Urban Land Institute
  • Ko Ko Gyi, Capital Diamond Star Group
  • Nicole Häusler, Myanmar Tourism Federation
  • H. Detlef Kammeier, Consultant and Professor Emeritus, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok
  • U Win Khaing, Myanmar Investment Commission
  • Frauke Kraas, University of Cologne and University of Yangon
  • Naoko Kumada, Independent Scholar and Consultant
  • Michael Marrella, New York City Department of Urban Planning
  • Randall Mason, University of Pennsylvania
  • Aung Soe Min, Pansodan GalleryDaw Hlaing Maw Oo, Ministry of Construction
  • Htet Oo, Rangoon Tea House
  • Ivan Pun, Pun Projects and TS1
  • TK Quek, RT+Q Architects
  • Jayde Roberts, University of Tasmania
  • Eduardo Rojas, former Inter-American Development Bank
  • Andrew Scherer, Columbia University
  • Tin Shwe, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism
  • Michael Slingsby, Consultant and Project Advisor in Yangon
  • Ester van Steekelenburg, Cities Development Initiative for Asia
  • Daw Yin Myo Su, Inle Princess Co., Ltd
  • Masahiko Suzuki, Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • Daw Mie Mie Tin, Ministry of Construction
  • Jean Wee, Preservation of Sites & Monuments, National Heritage Board, Singapore
  • Tommy Wide, Turquoise Mountain Foundation
  • Daw Khin Sanda Win, Inle Lake View Resort
  • Laurence Loh Kwong Yu, Heritage of Malaysia Trust

For questions regarding the symposium, please email buildingthefuture@wmf.org