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Urban Green Spaces: Bridging cultural, ecological and political planning gaps to make the city of Colombo a leading ‘Greener-City’

Konau, Sumedha (2016) Urban Green Spaces: Bridging cultural, ecological and political planning gaps to make the city of Colombo a leading ‘Greener-City’. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Sumedha Konau -Urban Green Spaces- Bridging cultural, ecological and political planning gaps to make the city of Colombo a leading ‘Greener-City’ -2016 PhD.pdf

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Abstract

Sri Lanka is a developing country shaped by its tropical climate. Greening the cities for beautification, recreation and environmental reasons has occurred here since ancient times. Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, is a complex fast-growing city. A history of colonisation, first Portuguese, then Dutch followed by British, influenced and created a mixed culture of ethnic and religious identities. As a diverse population with a difficult recent history of unrest, Colombo citizens are seeking stability, quality of life and new ways to engage with passive and active recreation in urban green areas. Colombo has Urban Green Spaces (UGSs), but these are of variable quality and there is no coherent strategy for maintaining or planning, or a sustainable vision for the city. Planning failures are a big problem to the city’s green spaces. Therefore, it has become urgent and necessary to make an innovative study of the theory and practice of Colombo’s UGSs. The hypothesis of this research is that there are ‘a unique set of cultural, geographical, ecological and political circumstances in the city of Colombo that could enable it to become a leading “Haritha City” (Green City) in South Asia, but there are gaps in the current planning system that are preventing that aim from being realised’. This study was conducted using a three-spheres conceptual framework, consisting of sociological and cultural, ecological and geographical, and political aspects of UGSs. Using relevant researches from global context, together with in-country sociological studies, the gaps were identified and a practical and deliverable strategy of suitable practices was developed. This thesis establishes core principles for future development and proposes a new direction and model for urban green planning in Colombo.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: Sumedha Konau
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 13:08
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2017 13:39
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16091

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