Cambodian Cities

There are five cities and many urban areas in Cambodia. The three biggest cities among five are Phnom Penh, Seam Reap and Sihanouk Ville which have seen the greatest development in the last decade.
Phnom Penh is an administrative city while Seam Reap and Sihanouk Ville are tourist cities. Therefore, they have grown from different actors and processes. However, these cities have many common actors or backgrounds or processes that are related to land management site.
Property investment is one important factor which contributes to city development, for example new housing construction, apartments, high rise building and factories have grown rapidly, the land market is also well functioning. These developments depend on land tenure which now is more secure than last decade. Most land parcels in Cambodia have no land title, systematic land registration was established in recent year 2002 and it has been implemented in eleventh provinces and cities, Phnom Penh, Seam Reap and Sihanouk Ville are among these cities. Now, some owners mortgage money from bank by using their land title. In addition, land transfer tax Phnom Penh and other cities are increased rapidly Master plans for the capital city have been mapped, decentralization of responsibility for issuing land titles and housing construction permission was empowered to the local level.
There are some main obstacles for city development in relation to land in Cambodia, such as land valuation standards and national land use policy. It has no land valuation system with transparency that is acceptable for the whole country or for cities and also does not have a national land use policy or clear land use planning for each city. Furthermore, the development plans for linking cities in inner Asian countries or even cities in inner Cambodia are not yet established.
An important process has started but even though certain cooperation between central or local authorities and land managers or land professionals started, the involvement of affected stakeholders and different actors of the planning process needs to be further developed and the support of international organizations such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNDP and foreign countries like Germany, Canada, Finland, France in the land management and land registration process is still needed.

Mr. Lor Chunn Pau M.Sc.
Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC)
Monivong Blvd 771-773, Khan Chamkarm Mon, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia
Tel.: +855 23 211 354, e-mail:,

Pau_Cambodian Cities.pdf1.21 MB