Coming soon: An overpass at Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Yangon. [Andrew Rowat]

History of the Present: Yangon

Time and again, I spotted signs marking construction zones. Coming soon: a guesthouse; coming soon: a bank; coming soon: a hotel. It might as well have been the city’s official slogan. Yangon: coming soon. This is a dynamic moment to visit Myanmar. After decades in isolation, the world’s longest-lasting military dictatorship is giving up power.

Emerging from a half century of dictatorship, can Myanmar’s principal city be a model of sustainable, democratic development?

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  • Alan Thomas
  • Aaron Rothman
  • Naomi Stead
  • Simon Sadler

Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas is a columnist for Places. He is Editorial Director for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press and a photographer specializing in urban landscape.

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Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is the photo editor of Places, and an artist and writer whose work explores contemporary issues in landscape.

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Naomi Stead

Naomi Stead is a columnist for Places. She is an architecture critic and senior research fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia.

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Simon Sadler

Simon Sadler is a columnist for Places. He teaches the history and theory of architecture, design, and urbanism across several programs at the University of California, Davis, where he is a professor in the Department of Design.

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