Japanese Firm Picked to Draft Transportation Plan for New Yangon City

By The Irrawaddy 10 October 2018

YANGON — A Japanese company has been chosen as the transport planner and traffic impact assessment consultant for a massive new city development slated for the west bank of the Yangon River.

New Yangon Development Company (NYDC), the developer of New Yangon City, which is still in its planning phase, announced on Monday that it selected Oriental Consultants Japan Co., Ltd. last week. The Tokyo-based company provides services in the fields of urban and regional planning and road transportation and renewable energy development, among others.

NYDC says it aims to provide a strong public mass transit system and keep traffic congestion to a minimum.

“The goal is to ensure that all citizens have 100 percent access to the public transportation system, and that it is located within a five to 10 minute walk from home,” Serge Pun, the CEO of NYDC, said in his weekly blog on the NYDC’s website.

Under the close watch of NYDC’s planning team, Oriental Consultants Japan will work with Singapore-based AECOM to develop the designs and urban master plan for New Yangon City, Pun said.

AECOM was selected from among 14 firms that expressed interest in developing the project’s urban master plan.

Last month, NYDC released a socio-economic master plan for New Yangon City drafted by the US management firm McKinsey & Company and financed by the British government. According to that plan, the new city’s public transit system will include trams and electric buses connected to Yangon by rail and road, with all the roads to have sidewalks and tree cover.

The first phase of New Yangon City is expected to cover 20,000 acres and include five townships, two bridges, power plants, water and wastewater treatment plants and a 10-square-kilometer industrial zone. NYDC says the initial infrastructure work for the first phase will cost more than $1.5 billion.

The project’s location has come under criticism due to the low-lying topography. With a maximum elevation of just 5 meters above sea level, it is prone to flooding. NYDC says it has begun a flood-risk assessment of the site in cooperation with a Dutch consultancy, Royal HaskoningDHV.

Blessed by the Yangon Region government, NYDC was founded in March. Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said at the time that the company was fully owned by the government and that the new city would create some 2 million new jobs.

But the government was recently accused of abusing its power by investing 10 billion kyats ($6.5 million) in the project without the local legislature’s prior approval.