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Housing the Rangoon Poor: Indians, Burmese, and Town Planning in Colonial Burma

Discussion Papers

No.561

March 2016

ABSTRACT

In Rangoon/Yangon, the ex-capital city of Burma/Myanmar, there still remain many old buildings today. Those buildings were constructed in the British colonial period, especially from the 1900s to the 1930s, and formed Rangoon's built environment as something modern. In focusing on the period before and after the inauguration of the Rangoon Development Trust in 1921, this paper describes how the colonial administrative authorities perceived urban problems and how their policy and practice affected urban society. It also suggests the possibility that competition for habitation among the lower strata of Rangoon society was a cause of the serious urban riot in 1930.

Keywords: Burma/Myanmar, urban history, town-planning, colonialism, immigration
JEL classification: N95

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