Skyscraper in Yangon: Looking for Heaven, reaching Hell
Nowadays, several constructors are more and more trying to build high-story buildings in Yangon, Myanmar’s main economic city. Some people call it the “skyscraper-syndrome”. To recall the history of housing projects in Yangon, we discover that if a constructor’s housing style worked out, the others followed that style of housing. In 1990s, houses were built as same as houses from Hong Kong. It was a great success and popular in downtown Yangon. Soon after that, most houses changed into that style. Those houses include two floors, with bathroom and kitchen on each floor.
After a century, condominium took Hong Kong-styled houses’ place. After that, to make it more special, plazas and towers were built. NOW, the “skyscraper-syndrome” is on its way.
The government had been trying to build those skyscrapers for the last 10 years and it was supposed to take 20% of the profits. It was seen unfair and later it was changed so that government takes 40% of the profits.
Now Myanmar is becoming a democratic country, it’s freer than before. The housing price is higher; the tax is higher as well. And the prepaid system of housing is surprisingly higher, too, demand being higher than supplies.
As far as I’m concerned, Shaw Centre, Singapore made a height record (100m) in 1958. There were 199 skyscrapers in Singapore by 2010 and 30 skyscrapers among them are 140-meters-high at least. In Indonesia, there are 109 buildings with 30 floors. Moreover, there are 140-meters-high buildings. Also Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia have skyscrapers.
Here I want to share a Malaysian Professor’s research, titled ” Reaching for heaven: Skyscraper Iconism and Urban Sustainability In South East Asia”. In his research, it is said that the Super induced Urban Development appears because of building too many skyscrapers in cities. And it has to try or use too much budgets to keep track of maintenance and development of bridges, highways and flyovers, like in Bangkok. Likewise, Malaysia government is investing 10 billion US dollars to build flyovers and skyscrapers within the next 10 years.
The worse thing is air pollution and traffic jam, which occur because of heavy population and using cars.
Like we build skyscrapers vertically, rich people establish a vertically gated community, which means a community only for rich people. Then “social disparity” is growing larger between vertically gated community and horizontal settlement, which refers to poor people.
A saying goes “Too many cooks spoil the stew”. It’s not always good to have skyscrapers in a city to show off how much your country has improved. Although we need them to run businesses and to use resources effectively, we must control not to have too many. I want you to consider this “Looking for heaven, reaching to hell”.
Article translated from 7 days News Journal by the Mingalapar Forum team