Book: Modern Khmer Cities

Name: Modern Khmer Cities

Author: Vann Molyvann


The book is written by the former state architect Vann Molyvann to give the analysis of urban planning in three major cities of Cambodia, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville. Vann illustrated the book as his “political manifesto.” The cities are studied in terms of their history, geology, and ecology. The problems in the development of the cities were identified and with recommendations for future urban planning. For Phnom Penh, he suggested a well-thought-out master plan should take over the existing improper development so as to create a self-sustainable city. The expansion of the city should take place along the  Bassac River like the Bassac Riverfront Project. Phnom Penh should avoid chaos and poverty of the city.

“There will be slums everywhere, like la favela in Rio de Janeiro. The Khmer people are very resilient. We have been attacked and swallowed by other countries, but our culture was never completely destroyed.” – Vann Molyvann, 2013 [1]

[1] “Phnom Penh’s Most Famous Urban Planner Sees a City on the Verge of Collapse,” Next City, accessed December 10, 2018,

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