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Video June 6, 2019

Myanmar’s Urbanization: Creating Opportunities for All

Economic and political reforms in the past few years have created opportunities for many in Myanmar, where the GDP growth averaged 8 percent between 2005 and 2014, and poverty decreased from 48 percent to 32 percent during the same period. Much of the growth is happening in cities, driven by an expansion in construction, services, and manufacturing. While urbanization often brings immense opportunity for urban dwellers, keeping pace with the growing needs of citizens in cities often presents a challenge. Inadequate planning and a lack of investments in infrastructure and the provision of basic services can lead to sprawl, environmental pollution, congestion and inequality. Overtime, inequality can undermine the benefits that urbanization typically brings as it can create or worsen social divisions and contribute to rising crime and violence in cities. This accentuates the urgent need to focus attention on investing equitably in urban development.