Engineering Earth pp 1021-1044 | Cite as

Myanmar’s New Capital City of Naypyidaw

Chapter

Abstract

Myanmar’s capital relocation from Yangon to Naypyidaw is an interesting case study in the context of geographical configuration, urban architectural design and Southeast Asian urbanization in the 21st century. The establishment of the new capital is a grand strategy of the ruling military government, consisting of three main elements: politico-military security, hinterland development and historical-cultural legacies. Geographically, the new capital is located on the upper Sittang valley commanding the granary areas and the forestry regions. The city is strategically suitable in military terms with mountains as defense fortifications and the fertile area is suitable for agricultural development. Meanwhile the valley has hydroelectric energy development potential. The new capital is also located in a geometric position and sits strategically on major transportation networks accessing to all parts of the country. In the context of urban settlement, Myanmar’s new capital comprises the twin cities of Pyinmana (the old city) and Naypyidaw (the newly established capital and the official center for governmental administration). Moreover, the ruling junta has constructed a new command center (northeast of Pyinmana town) which is the location of military headquarters, military bunkers and underground tunnels. Also I find it interesting that the urban architectural structure of Naypyidaw shares some similar characteristics with other cities in terms of geographical setting, metropolitan network and military-strategic significance, for example, Ankara in Turkey, Islamabad in Pakistan and NORAD and Cu Chi in the U.S. and Vietnam, respectively.

Keywords

Urban Settlement Military Leader Military Government Underground Complex Military Junta 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Abbott, G. (1998). The traveller’s history of Burma. Bangkok: Orchid Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aoranut Niyomdham. (2006). Back to the past ‘Pyinmana’: The new royal capital of the union of Myanmar. Knowing Myanmar, April 23.Google Scholar
  3. Aung Lwin Oo. (2005). Rangoon moves ministries to Pyinmana. Retrieved November 30, 2006, from http://www.burmanet.org/news/2005/11/07/irrawaddy-rangoon-moves-ministries-to-pyinmana-aung-lwin-oo/
  4. Aung Lwin Oo. (2006). A capital error. The Irrawaddy, 14(5), 20–25.Google Scholar
  5. Aung Saw. (2006). Behold a new empire. The Irrawaddy, 14(3), 24–25.Google Scholar
  6. Aung-Thwin, M. (1990). Irrigation in the heartland of Burma: Foundations of the pre-colonial Burmese state. De Kalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Aung-Thwin, M. (2005). From Rangoon to Pyinmana. http://www.burmanet.org/news/2005/11/28/bangkok-post-from- rangoon-to-pyinmana. Accessed 5 December 2006.
  8. Brill, M. (1996). Building the capital city. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing.Google Scholar
  9. Campbell, S. (2000). Cold war metropolis: The fall and rebirth of Berlin as a world city. Retrieved March 26, 2007, from http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sdcamp/capitals.Ch2.html
  10. Chiang Mai News. (2006). Off-limits: Asia’s Secret Capital. Retrieved June 28, 2007, from http://www.chiangmainews.com/ecmn/2006/jun06/42_43_limits.php
  11. Cornish, V. (1923). The great capitals: An historical geography. New York: George H. Doran.Google Scholar
  12. Dautremer, J. (1923). Burma under British rule. London: T. Fisher Unwin.Google Scholar
  13. Dhida Saraya. (1995). Mandalay the capital city, the center of the universe. Bangkok: Muang Boran Publishing House.Google Scholar
  14. Dulyapak Preecharushh. (2009). Naypyidaw the new capital of Burma. Bangkok: White Lotus.Google Scholar
  15. DVB-Democratic Voices of Burma. (2009). Special Report: Digging the Tunnels. Retrieved November 24, 2009, from http://english.dvb.no/special.php
  16. Fink, C. (2001). Living silence: Burma under military rule. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  17. Glassner, M. I. (1993). Political geography. Mississauga: John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd.Google Scholar
  18. Gottmann, J. (1983). Capital cities. Ekistics, 50(299), 88–92.Google Scholar
  19. Hilberseimer, L. (1995). The nature of cities: Origin, growth, and decline. Chicago: Paul Theobald & Co.Google Scholar
  20. Lintner, B. (2000). Burma in revolt: Opium and insurgency since 1948. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books.Google Scholar
  21. Maung Aung Myoe. (2006). The road to Naypyitaw: Making sense of the Myanmar government’s decision to move its capital. Singapore: Asia Research Institute, ARI Working Paper No.79. November.Google Scholar
  22. Maung Chan. (2005). Burma capital moves to Pyinmana, WHY? Retrieved December 12, 2005, from http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/english/2005/11/200511110401.shtml
  23. Monson, C. (1985). Rangoon. San Francisco: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  24. Morris, K. (2005). Burma begins move to new capital. Retrieved November 28, 2007, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4412502.stm
  25. Myint Shwe. (2006). The move to Pyinmana. Retrieved January 1, 2007, from http://www.bangkokpost.com/Perspective/04Dec2005_pers01.php
  26. Nanda Kyaw Thu. (2006). Tyranny of the absurd. Assessing the implications of the Pyinmana move. Retrieved March 18, 2008, from http://www.burmaissues.org/En/Newsletter/BINews2006-01-01.html
  27. Neill, W. J. V. (2004). Urban planning and cultural identity. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nwafor, J. C. (2005). The relocation of Nigeria’s federal capital: A device for greater Territorial integration and national unity. Retrieved January 28, 2007, from http://www.springerlink.com/content/f51hx07h27250687/
  29. Naypyidaw: A dusty work in progress. (2006). The Irrawaddy, 14(10), 22–23.Google Scholar
  30. Paddock, R. C. (2006). Abrupt relocation of Burma capital linked to astrology. Retrieved June 5, 2006, from http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2006/01/01/abrupt_relocation_of_burma_capital_linked_to_astrology/
  31. Parker, C. (2006). Inside Myanmar’s secret capital. Retrieved January 11, 2007, from http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/HJ28Ae01.html
  32. Pearn, B. R. (1939). A history of Rangoon. Rangoon: American Baptist Mission Press.Google Scholar
  33. Phayre, Sir A. (1998). History of Burma. Bangkok: Orchid Press.Google Scholar
  34. Potts, D. (1985). Capital relocation in Africa: The case of Lilongwe in Malawi. The Geographical Journal, 151, 182–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sajida Iqbal Maria and Muhammad Imran. (2006). Planning of Islamabad and Rawalpindi: What Went Wrong? Retrieved December 9, 2009, from http://www.isocarp.net/Data/case_studies/720.pdf
  36. Schatz, E. (2003). What capital cities say about state and nation building. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 9(4), 111–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Scupham, P. (1977). Hinterland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Seekins, D. M. (2002). The disorder into order: The army state in Burma since 1962. Bangkok: White Lotus.Google Scholar
  39. Selth, A. (1996). Transforming the Tatmadaw: The Burmese armed forces since 1988. Canberra: Australian National University: Strategic & Defense Studies Centre.Google Scholar
  40. Selth, A. (2001). Burma: A strategic perspective. San Francisco: The Asia Foundation.Google Scholar
  41. Shah P. (2006). Junta moves to Pyinmana for Armed Forces Day. Retrieved April 9, 2008, from http://www.burmanet.org/news/2006/03/27/-64 k
  42. Smith, M. (1991). Burma: Insurgency and the politics of ethnicity. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  43. Silverstein, J. (1997). Burma: Military rule and the politics of stagnation. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Singer, N. F. (1998). Old Rangoon: City of the Shwedagon. Scotland: Paul Strachan/Kiscadale Publications.Google Scholar
  45. Steinberg, D. (2001). The state of Myanmar. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Taylor, R. (1987). The state in Burma. London: Hurst & Company.Google Scholar
  47. Terdiman, D. (2009). America’s fortress: Cheyenne mountain, NORAD live on. Retrieved December 8, 2009, from http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10274268-52.html
  48. Than Than New. (1997). Yangon: The emergence of a new special order in Myanmar’s capital city. Melbourne: Deakin University.Google Scholar
  49. The Military Government Designated Naypyidaw (2005). Myanmar Times, 15(292), 2–5.Google Scholar
  50. Vatikiotis, M. (1998). Political change in Southeast Asia: Trimming the banyan tree. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Woodman, D. (1962). The making of Burma. London: The Cresset Press.Google Scholar
  52. Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “Ankara”.Google Scholar
  53. Win Kyaw Oo. (2006). The Myanmar Times via BBC: Burmese paper says businessmen prefer Rangoon to new capital. Retrieved June 29, 2007, from http://www.burmanet.org/news/2006/03/31/the-myanmar-times-via-bbc-burmese-paper-says-businessmen-prefer-rangoon-to-new-capital/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southeast Asian Studies ProgramThammasat UniversityBangkokThailand

Personalised recommendations