Reclaiming Rangoon: (Post-)imperial urbanism and poverty, 1920–62

Michael Sugarman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
302 Downloads (Pure)


This article considers the relationship between poverty in Rangoon and the ways in which both an imperial and a post-imperial urbanism helped ‘improve’, develop, and reclaim Rangoon's urban environment. Examining the actions of the Rangoon Development Trust before and after the Second World War in the context of actions taken by the Bombay Improvement Trust, Bombay Development Directorate, Singapore Improvement Trust, and Hong Kong Housing Authority, it both analyses measures taken in Rangoon and constructs a connective history of urban development in relation to other Asian port cities. Incorporating documents released only in 2014 by the National Archives of Myanmar, this analysis for the first time considers interventions made in Rangoon's post-war built environment of poverty, connecting these actions to policies constructed over the preceding decades.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1856-1887
Number of pages32
JournalModern Asian Studies
Issue number6
Early online date22 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Southeast Asia
  • Burma
  • Rangoon
  • Bombay
  • South Asia
  • Urban studies
  • housing history
  • port cities


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