see The exhibition “Global City: Yangon’s Past, Present and Future”, on display at the Yangon Heritage Trust office on Pansodan Street through to March next year, looks fascinating from many perspectives. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing it. However, with so many historical images now uploaded to Facebook on a daily basis (above all by the wonderfully irrepressible Lin San Letpanpya), the main interest may not lie there. I guess that by now many of us have seen photos of then US Vice-President Richard Nixon in full Burmese dress during his December 1953 visit to Rangoon. Rather, it will be in turning to the future that the exhibit has most to say. Writing of this, the Irrawaddy report notes that a large conceptual rendering of the city’s riverfront “envisions neatly trimmed green terraces and walking paths, with a shimmering, distant pocket of high-rise office towers trumped in skyline prominence only by the Shwedagon Pagoda”. Changes are coming to that part of the city, through a gradual redevelopment of port facilities, the recent reopening of a commuter train service along Strand Road, and so on. But realization of the YHT vision would take things to a considerably higher level.

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