Call For Papers: Informal Settlements from Myanmar Perspective (Yangon, 14-16 November 2018)

Informal Settlements from Myanmar Perspective

International Research Seminar

Deadline for abstract submission

20 August 2018

Seminar date

14 -­ 16 November 2018


Yangon Technological University, Insein Road, Yangon, Myanmar.

Co-­organized by

  • Yangon Technological University, Department of Architecture (YTU, Myanmar)
  • University of Yangon, Department of Anthropology (UY Myanmar),
  • University of Yangon, Department of Geography (UY Myanmar),
  • The French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD, France),
  • The Centre for Social Sciences Studies on Africa, America and Asia (Cessma, France).


English, Burmese.


The purpose of this seminar is to present and discuss current researches on informal settlements in Myanmar.

Major changes happened in Myanmar cities, especially in Yangon, since the new political regime and opening up of economy in 2012. Along with new construction projects, new laws, urban plans, and large foreign investments, cities are expanding and urban population is growing fast, especially through migration. Land and housing markets are changing fast. Skyrocketing land prices are leading to the decrease of number of affordable housing. The access to formal housing is more and more difficult for the poor. Precarious settlements are growing, which are called in Myanmar by different terms such as : informal settlements, kyu kyaw, slums, squatters settlements, vulnerable communities, precarious settlements, periurban neighbourhoods, untapped communities, etc.

Research and knowledge on these neighbourhoods, their inhabitants and their role in the main cities in Myanmar are diverse. This seminar is to bring together researchers from various disciplines (geography, architecture, urban planning, anthropology, history, international relations etc.) reflecting the interdisciplinarity of the urban studies approaches on these spaces, and professionals (administrations, experts, international institutions, NGOs) with diverse professional cultures, to analyse the different ways informal settlements are viewed in Myanmar, and to contribute to co-­‐produce the knowledge on these urban settlements.

Informal neighborhoods can be approached through several themes, linked to spatial, social, legal, economic, political, urban/rural, or city making process. Amongst others, the proposals may address informal settlements through the following themes: Dynamics of growth, peripheries and margins; Residential trajectories and migrations; Access to the city, to housing and to workplace; Infrastructure, services and environnement; Land and real estate markets; Land tenure; Renting; Unplanned urban production; Standards issues; History and trends of policies towards precarious settlements; Upgrading and relocation schemes; Current programs and projects; Poverty; Vulnerability, risk and security; The making of the city; Social networks and economic environments; Construction and sustainability; Resilience; Urban competencies of inhabitants; Community action; Flood adaptation strategies; Coping with climate change; etc.

More specifically, the seminar aims to shed light on the following questions concerning informal settlements :  a- What  kinds  of  research   have  been   done  in  Myanmar, and  through   which program ?  b- What  are  the  different  approaches?  c-­ What  are  the definitions  and  methods adopted ?  d-­ What  is  informal  settlement  in  Myanmar,  and what  results  and  knowledge  do  we have  on  these  neighborhoods? And  e-­ How  the issue  of  informal  settlements  is  viewed  from Myanmar perspective?

The  purpose  of  this  event  is  to  develop  evidence-­‐based  knowledge  through  cross-­‐analysis  and co-­‐construction   concerning   informal   neighborhoods.   The   seminar  will   discuss   how   these researches and knowledge production contribute to the elaboration of the definitions of the precarious neighborhoods in Myanmar, to shape the discourses on these urban spaces, and to articulate with the design and developement of public policies that concern them.

The seminar will contribute to show the role of urban research today in Myanmar and seek to identify opportunities for future research agenda in the field of precarious settlements.

Contribution Proposals

We would be glad to receive proposals of presentation exploring informal settlements in Myanmar. Proposals should include a title, an abstract (of no more than 250 words) and a short bio (of no more 150 words).

Title, abstract and bio have to be submitted in English. Paper can be presented in English or in Burmese. Simultaneous translation will be available during the seminar.

Please send all proposals in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx) to and , latest by 20 August 2018. Applicants will be notified by 9 september 2018.

Registration, fees and support

Attendance is subject to prior registration. No registration fee. Some support to travel and accomodation costs may be covered upon specific request and within available budget.

Scientific Committee

  • Dr Nilar Aung, Professor, Deputy Head, Department of Geography, University of Yangon.
  • Dr Maxime Boutry, Anthropologist, Researcher, GRET Myanmar.
  • Dr Valérie Clerc, Urban Planner and architect, Researcher, IRD/Cessma, Paris, France.
  • Dr Véronique Dupont, Demographer, Director of Research, IRD/Cessma, Paris, France.
  • Dr Mya Mya Khin, Professor, Head, Department of Anthropology, University of Yangon.
  • Dr Karine Peyronnie, Geographer, Researcher, IRD/ Prodig, Paris, France.
  • Dr Pwint, Professor, Deputy Head, Department of Architecture, Yangon Technological University. Dr Michael Slingsby, Independant researcher.
  • Dr François Tainturier, Executive Director, Inya Institute, Yangon.


For questions about the seminar, please contact Dr. Pwint and Dr. Valérie Clerc at and