Resources > Yangon Heritage Trust | Myanmar
03 Jun 2013

Yangon Heritage Trust | Myanmar

Yangon Heritage Trust is an independent centre of excellence working to promote and integrate Yangon’s unique urban heritage into a 21st century vision of Yangon as one of Asia’s most liveable cities. Yangon Heritage Trust advocates for heritage protection, develops clear and sustainable policy options, engages with government, business and civil society, communicates its ideas to the widest possible audience, undertakes specific conservation projects, and facilitates research and training.


The current legal framework and regulation for heritage protection, preservation and promotion in Yangon is challenged by the city’s rapid urbanization. YHT is collaborating with the municipal authority Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), the Department of Human Settlements and Housing Development (DHSHD), the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Association of Myanmar Architects (AMA) to undertake new policies to extend heritage preservation.

As part of the revitalization of Yangon, YHT is working on several pilot projects to demonstrate what alternatives exist for the adaptive use and upgrade of historic structures. These projects go beyond physical restoration of buildings and emphasize a holistic approach to preserving the spirit and vitality of neighborhood life with special attention to social exchange and environmental impact.

YHT is working to help record the many stories embedded in its heritage buildings as this research and educational outreach about Yangon’s history and heritage is crucial to secure a sense of the city’s and its residents’ journey for generations to come. In the compilation of these stories, YHT hopes to reconnect residents and locals with the buildings around them. YHT has several projects on advocacy and community engagement, exploring residents’ thoughts about their city and their understanding and perception of is heritage.

YHT is installing a system of commemorative Blue Plaques around Yangon to highlight significant historical buildings and renowned residents who contributed to the narrative of the city. The plaques, in Burmese and English, will draw attention to both the known and forgotten histories of the city, serving as a reminder for the city’s residents and providing interpretive signage for visitors. The Royal Philips Corporation has partnered with YHT to honor these key sites throughout Yangon by providing funding for historical research, manufacturing, and installation of the plaques.The first plaque was installed in mid-August, 2014 at Yangon’s City Hall.

YHT regularly organizes and participates in studies, workshops, and trainings related to building conservation and broader urban planning topics. We also advocate for the development and inclusion of Conservation Management Plans (CMPs) prior to any new work on registered urban heritage places or within an urban heritage zone. The Trust is undertaking an extensive survey and inventory program to document all existing buildings within Yangon. This will provide a fine-grain understanding of the layout and form of Yangon’s built urban heritage. From this fundamental starting point, YHT will be able to develop a list of individually significant buildings while also drafting boundaries for conservation precincts where groups of buildings are identified with a shared significance. [Read more]