Case Study 1: Aukkyin Ward, Mawlamyine (Myanmar)
Mawlamyine is the capital of Mon State, and the fourth largest city in the country. Mawlamyine is located strategically at the entrance to the only land route to the Tanintharyi Region of Myanmar, which stretches down to the southernmost part of the country, surrounded by the Tanintharyi mountain ranges and Andaman Sea. Mawlamyine is located 316 km away from the country's main commercial city of Yangon. The city was the first capital of British Burma from 1826 to 1852.
Given its strategic location on the Andaman Sea, and as the gateway to the Tanintharyi region, Mawlamyine is witnessing major economic development pressure in the wake of the recent opening of the country to foreign investment, and following the announcement of planned transport corridors to neighboring Thailand and the rest of ASEAN.
Photo (top): Kyait Phane Pagoda and Mosque, side-by-side in Aukkyin Ward (Source: Dr. Mya Mya Khin)
The city of Mawlamyine comprises 41 wards. The neighborhood of Kyait Phane Pagoda Road in Aukkyin Ward was chosen as a research site because it is an historic, waterfront area that is representative of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious character of the city as a whole. The Ward is home to a diversity of local ethnic groups, such as the Mon, Bamar, Kayin and Pa-Oh, as well as Indians and Chinese. The neighborhood contains Buddhist, Chinese and Hindu temples, as well as churches and mosques. The neighborhood has a reputation for ethnic and religious harmony.
Photo (top): Kyait Phane Jetty in Aukkyin Ward, an important hub for local transport of good and public transport (Source: Dr. Mya Mya Khin)
One of the purposes of including the neighborhood in Aukkyin Ward in the program is to analyze how recent economic change is impacting a waterfront neighborhood in a strategically located secondary city, and to discover how (if at all) the multi-ethnic character of the Ward is evolving as a result of these developments.
Aerial photograph of Aukkyin Ward in Mawlamyine City.