Amarapura Urban Development

Mandalay, Myanmar


Mandalay Business Capital City Development Ltd



Project Type

Outline Master Plan, CBD

Site Area

1,000+ Km2

This project sits on ten square kilometers of land reclaimed by our client along the Irrawaddy River as part of Mandalay’s flood prevention measures. The developer raised the site to be ten meters above the river water level, making it is suitable for urban development. Hence the developer approached MORROW with a brief to create a spatial master plan for a low-density housing district. However, after further studying the site, MORROW’s planners realized that its geographical position made it a prime spot to develop a CBD for Greater Mandalay. After sharing our analysis with our client, they approved this approach – on the condition that we could get the local government’s support for such a project.

To seek that buy-in, MORROW developed an outline master plan for the Greater Mandalay region of one thousand square kilometers. Considering the city’s prime location between Myanmar’s border with China and Myanmar’s capital city, Yangon, MORROW estimated that Mandalay’s population could grow to an upper ceiling of over seven million residents by 2070. To manage such a potentially large population, MORROW divided the future Mandalay megacity into two smaller, more sustainable areas. The future expanded central city would cater to a population of 4.2m residents, and the Southern city extension could absorb another 3 million.

MORROW’s planners developed the hierarchy of urban cells, key urban organs, main road, and rail systems. We presented this plan to the city government, including the Mandalay Chief Minister and relevant government officials, and received in-principle approval to ensure good functional relation and transportation connectivity to our site with the rest of Mandalay. Given the positive response, we proceeded to do the detailed plan of the proposal CBD and the immediate surroundings within the original ten square kilometer site.  

This planning approached helped achieve three objectives. First, the value of our client’s site increased as the land previously earmarked for low-density housing is now gazetted a future CBD. Second, Greater Mandalay now has a master plan to grow into a sustainable and livable megacity with a CBD by the river. Finally, the plan is well integrated with the surrounding mountain ranges and Irrawaddy River to introduce major green belts, allowing residents to maintain a strong connection to the region’s natural environment.

Morrow | Mandalay Urban Development Project