New Phnom Penh Land Master Plan Passed

The Council of Ministers yesterday approved a sweeping new master plan for managing urban development in Phnom Penh over the next 20 years, according to a statement from the cabinet, although it was scant on specifics.

In the statement, Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong said the new “Phnom Penh Municipal Master Plan on Land Use 2035” aimed to deal with population growth and a continued construction boom as the capital’s population grows by more than a third to a projected 3 million by 2020.

“Phnom Penh Municipality has developed at a pace beyond ex­pectation,” Mr. Socheatvong said in the statement.

“Today [the city] faces new challenges such as population growth, which has reached 2.34 percent…and the growth of urbanization, big construction and in­creased transportation, which have caused noticeable traffic jams and environmental pollution,” he said.

“This master plan will aim at developing major infrastructure, including roads, drainage system, clean water system, lakes, ports, airports, parks and green space, residential policy…and municipal heritage conservation,” he said.

Although he was unable to give concrete details on the project, City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said the plan was the first of its kind since the fall of the Khmer Rouge and would focus on “zoning” areas of the city.

“This master plan is a legal document outlining the plan for mu­nicipal preparation…. It’s very important to have a master plan for sustainability, maintaining [the city’s] identity and responding to population growth,” Mr. Dimanche said.

“The master plan, basically, is about the feature of zoning, meaning which zone shall be preserved, which zone shall be used for commercial and industrial means and which zone for residential housing,” he said.

Mr. Dimanche said the master plan would be released to the public, but did not give an exact date.

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