Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island

City of spectacle

Authored by: Teri Shaffer Yamada

Routledge Handbook of Urbanization in Southeast Asia

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138681590
eBook ISBN: 9781315562889
Adobe ISBN:


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Although the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia lags behind the majority of Southeast Asian nations in its degree of urbanization, its commitment to the United Nations 2015 Millennium Development Goals charts a rapid catch-up with its neighbors (Heinonen 2008). The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has devoted its new modern urbanization focus on the capital city of Phnom Penh and, more recently, with China’s One Belt One Road Initiative, to development of the seaport town of Sihanoukville. This chapter analyzes the strengths, weaknesses and projected unintended consequences of such ambitious plans, currently manifested as at least eight satellite cities in various phases of construction within or on the borders of expanding Phnom Penh. 1 One of these satellite cities, the Diamond Island development, exemplifies a pattern of issues shared by the other projects.

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