News Archive

[shared on 08.07.2019]

Sri Lanka will never be the same in 2050. Here’s why

[Shared on 08.07.2019]
Source: www.asiapropertyawards.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...Despite its diminutive size, Sri Lanka has overwhelmed the country’s land zoning agencies and urban planners. Here is a teardrop-shaped island, sprawling just 660 square kilometres over the Indian Ocean, but bursting at the seams with sensitive ecosystems, forest reserves, water cascades, and highlands, punctuated by more than 100 urban centres, nine major cities, and two metropolitan regions.

Yet the country’s corridors of power have inordinately focused on the urban section of the island; it accounts for almost 40 percent of the populace, after all. More than 90 percent of the island’s real estate activities also converge in Sri Lanka’s urban areas, covering nearly 23 percent of the land.

Development was bound to proceeds in a disorderly and ad-hoc manner then. When Dr. Jagath Munasinghe was appointed to the chairmanship of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) in 2016, he made it his raison d’etre to craft regulatory measures that bespeak more planned development for the country. “In that dream, the systems are in place so that developers, officials and the citizens are delighted with the services delivered by institutions, service providers and the public desks,” he said.

Munasinghe, who also serves as director-general of the National Physical Planning Department (NPPD), was instrumental in formulating the National Physical Planning Policy and the Plan 2050.

The Plan aims to, by 2050, apportion and guide major physical developments in the country into four main development corridors, led by the East-West corridor connecting Colombo and Trincomalee. “We can expect numerous opportunities to open up for the real state sector with the gradual establishment of these development corridors,” promised Munasinghe.

The National Physical Plan serves as a panacea of sorts to the issues caused by the dearth of development plans for urban areas in the island, which now number as high as 240. For the last 40 years, the UDA has formulated only 40 development plans, some of which are now outdated.

Under Munasinghe, the agency is formulating plans for every urban area, including such major cities such as Kandy, Galle, Kurunegala, Rathnapura, and Anuradhapura.

The UDA has special plans for the Sri Lankan capital, which has been buckling under the pressures of property development. Authorities hope to introduce Colombo Commercial City as the most sought-after “waterfront business environment experience” in the world.

Land values in waterfront and canal-side areas of Colombo are set to appreciate by 61 to 62 percent in 2030.

“These plans have adopted a novel approach which I would call ‘pro-development’, deviating from the conventional regulatory based approach,” explained Munasinghe.

“They provide a flexible framework for the developers to select among many choices available for them to design their development, optimising the resources and the opportunities, and incentivising ‘green’ developments.”... [read more]

Copyrights: www.asiapropertyawards.com
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 17.06.2019]

Spacemaker scores $25M Series A to let property developers use AI

[Shared on 17.06.2019]
Source: techcrunch.com. Please click here to visit the source.

Spacemaker, a Norway-based startup that’s created AI software to help property developers and architects make better design decisions, has picked up $25 million in Series A funding.

The round is jointly led by Atomico and Northzone, with participation from investors in property and construction tech, including Nordic real estate innovator NREP, Nordic property developer OBOS and U.K. real estate technology fund Round Hill Ventures. A number of earlier investors, including Norway’s Construct Venture, also followed on.

Described as “the world’s first” AI-assisted design and construction simulation software for the property development sector, Spacemaker claims to enable property development professionals, such as real estate developers, architects and urban planners, to quickly generate and evaluate the optimal environmental design for any multi-building residential development. To achieve this, the Spacemaker software crunches various data, including physical data, regulations, environmental factors and other preferences.

“Today developers and urban planners plan sites largely ‘by hand’ — meaning they can explore 20-30 options at most as they try to optimise for a multitude of regulatory, design, environmental and economic constraints,” says Spacemaker co-founder and CEO Håvard Haukeland.

“Given the rate at which urban populations are increasing, we can’t build sustainable and liveable cities by continuing to rely on those methods. New urban developments need to make the best possible use of the available land to create comfortable spaces for residents while balancing stringent planning regulations.”

This, explained Haukeland, means answering questions such as: How can we find the best way to orient a building to optimise how much heat is needed and save energy? How can we optimise for sunlight in all the apartments in a development in the Nordics? Or conversely, how can we optimise for shade in a much sunnier country?

“Architects and developers are thinking about all those things, while at the same time trying to balance regulations and other factors such as noise, wind and accessibility,” he says... [read more]

Copyrights: techcrunch.com
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[shared on 27.05.2019]

4 Cities Urban Planners Love

[Shared on 27.05.2019]
Source: www.inverse.com. Please click here to visit the source.

More and more people are moving into cities. As growing populations place pressure on urban housing, infrastructure, and transport systems, residents, planners, and politicians are having to come up with clever solutions to make their cities decent places to live. Yet the quality of a city is not simply defined by the grandeur of its buildings, or the efficiency of its transport system. Here, four urban planners name their favorite cities, and explain what makes them special.

Maputo, Mozambique

Vanesa Castán Broto, University of Sheffield

We do not see cities. We experience them through a multitude of encounters. Trying to explain why I like Maputo is like putting together all those encounters in a unique, yet partial, vision of the city. Not only have I had great times there, but Maputo has taught me most of what I know about the contemporary city.

As my research became entangled with the future of this city, my own success depended on understanding Maputo. Liking Maputo became a necessity. So when I try to explain why I like Maputo so much, it’s impossible to detach the reasons from my own biography. I don’t have a straightforward, bounded picture of the city ready to offer up to others. Instead, I can tell you what I learned there.

Maputo revealed to me how contemporary cities go beyond that absurd dichotomy of the “formal” and “informal” city. In Maputo, city managers talk of the separation between a “city of concrete” — the old colonial city, designed by the Portuguese — and the “city of reed” — the neighborhoods, or barrios, where most of the population live. The latter often lack basic infrastructure such as water, sanitation, and electricity.

For a while, this way of looking at things made a lot of sense to me. Then I took a liking to walking around the city as a means of discovery. As you walk Maputo, you experience how the formal and informal cross into each other, to the point where the boundaries become hopelessly blurred... [read more]

Copyrights: www.inverse.com
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[shared on 17.04.2019]

Barcelona’s superblocks are a new model for “post-car” urban living

Source: www.vox.com. Please click here to visit the source.

The most exciting question raised by the superblocks project is not how to push cars out of an area, but what happens next — what becomes of the newly liberated space, and what might become of a whole network of such spaces. It is in contemplating this question that the true depth of urban visionary Salvador Rueda’s ambition becomes clear.

Rueda’s plan for Barcelona, now adopted by the city, is based on design principles and metrics he shares in his “charter for the ecosystemic planning of cities and metropolises” and his book Ecological Urbanism. It is the contemporary analogue of Ildefons Cerdà’s plan for the city in the 19th century (see my piece: “Barcelona’s remarkable history of rebirth and transformation”), reflecting the same holistic perspective and humanistic goals, as well as similar morphology and geometry. It is, one might say, Cerdà on steroids. Supercerdà.

Its true nature will only become clear when there are more superblocks in place — when they begin to constitute a network, and exhibit network effects — but suffice to say, the plan involves much more than reducing traffic.

Rueda is ultimately driven by the same contrasting imperatives that drove Cerdà: to capture, for all citizens, the benefits of rural living (quiet, clean air and water, green and garden spaces, tight-knit community) alongside the benefits of urban living (efficient distribution of people and goods, mixing of diverse communities, economic and intellectual ferment).

Add to those considerations the looming threat of global warming, which will exacerbate Barcelona’s water and urban heat island problems. Climate change increases the need for resilience, for communities of tractable size that are at least partially self-sufficient in food, water, and energy.

“We need to prepare our cities, very quickly,” Rueda says, “because I think after five, six decades, the world will be a disaster. The movement of people will be very huge.”

Tight-knit community requires density, and it is simply impossible to have enough people, living close enough to one another, with shared public spaces and humane levels of noise and pollution ... and cars passing through. That is where the reorganization of the city must begin.

Thus, superblocks... [read more]

Copyrights: www.vox.com
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 09.04.2019]

Hong Kong plans to house 1 million people on artificial islands

Source: www.weforum.org. Please click here to visit the source.

Year after year, Hong Kong SAR has topped the rankings for the world’s least affordable housing markets. The city’s sky-high property prices have pushed residents into tiny living spaces, including the notorious subdivided apartments known as “coffin homes”.

To ease the chronic housing crisis, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has pitched a plan to increase the supply of land through the building of artificial islands.

The reclamation of 1,000 hectares off Lantau, the city’s largest island and home to Hong Kong International Airport, will be one of the largest projects of its kind – the new islands would cover an area almost twice the size of Dubai’s 560-hectare Palm Jumeirah

400,000 homes

Building works are scheduled to begin in 2025 with the first residents moving in by 2032, the South China Morning Post reported.

The scheme, called the Lantau Tomorrow Vision, aims to house up to 1.1 million more people by building between 260,000 and 400,000 apartments, 70% of which will be reserved for public housing. It also includes a transport network to link the artificial islands to Lantau and other parts of the city.

At an estimated cost of US$80 billion, it will be Hong Kong’s most expensive infrastructure project to date. The government, led by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, announced the expansion last year, but recently revealed details of the proposed budget to address public concern over its impact on the city’s coffers, according to the South China Morning Post... [read more]

 

Copyrights: www.weforum.org
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[shared on 18.03.2019]

These five cities are taking bold steps to rein in sprawl

Source: www.nationalgeographic.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...Sprawl is bad for climate, bad for our health, bad for our sanity, and bad for our wallets. In 2018 congestion cost the average American nearly 100 hours and more than $1,300, according to INRIX, a traffic research firm. In some other countries the problem is even worse.

In the April issue of National Geographic magazine, which is devoted to cities, I write about efforts to fix sprawl. I focused on people and places that are trying to walk back this fundamental error of the past, not just because it makes economic or environmental sense, but because we want cities to be places we love to live.

Peter Calthorpe is a pioneer of the New Urbanism, an urban design movement that’s been combatting sprawl in the U.S. for decades. “You know what cities are in essence?” he said to me one morning, as we sat in traffic on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. “They're about shared space.”

“You know, instead of a private yard, you have a great park. Instead of spending all your time in your living room, you spend time at the pub or the café. Instead of driving your own car, you use transit. But to make that competitive, all those things need to be high quality. Otherwise it probably is better to escape into your private little bubble.”

The purpose of cities is to get us out of our bubbles and bring us together. Here are five cities that are trying hard to do better:... [read more]

Copyrights: www.nationalgeographic.com
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 07.03.2019]

The Evolution Of Smart Cities

Source: www.forbes.com. Please click here to visit the source.

Smart cities using data captured by the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and processed with artificial intelligence (AI) are all the rage today among cities.  Promoters tout the benefits these data-driven utopias, but as an urban planner, I tend to be sceptical of marketing hype. In the past, urban innovations painted visions that masked their real intentions and results.  Urban renewal was sold as “garden cities,” but became black removal. Redevelopment during the 1980s eliminated small businesses and poor residents to make way for corporate offices, stadiums, and convention centers, leaving “ghost cities” with officials wondering why shoppers left for suburban malls.  The race to attract “the creative class” has resulted in skyrocketing housing prices, gentrification, income inequalities and homelessness. As planners know, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” Smart cities are typically pitched as ways to make cities safer, healthier and wealthier, but is it true?  What are their real impacts?... [read more]

Copyrights: www.forbes.com
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[shared on 26.02.2019]

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

Source: www.theguardian.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on Earth. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world with up to 2.8bn tonnes, surpassed only by China and the US.

The material is the foundation of modern development, putting roofs over the heads of billions, fortifying our defences against natural disaster and providing a structure for healthcare, education, transport, energy and industry.

Concrete is how we try to tame nature. Our slabs protect us from the elements. They keep the rain from our heads, the cold from our bones and the mud from our feet. But they also entomb vast tracts of fertile soil, constipate rivers, choke habitats and – acting as a rock-hard second skin – desensitise us from what is happening outside our urban fortresses... [read more]

Copyrights: www.theguardian.com
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 21.02.2019]

SLTDA, UDA partner to prepare tourism development master plan

Source: www.ft.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and the Urban Development Authority (UDA) have embarked on a mutual partnership to prepare tourism development master plans for identified areas across the country.

Areas will be identified as ‘tourism development zones’ and provided with specific guidelines for tourism development and tourist-related activities.

The objective of this initiative is to set specific guidelines for tourism development and for tourism-related activities to avoid ad-hoc tourism development and to avoid undesirable activities. Moreover, to encourage thematic developments catering to specific tourist segments and develop a proper monitoring mechanism to ensure sustainability.

The zoning plans are to be prepared for the following tourism zones in two phases in a span of 18 months... [read more]

Copyrights: www.ft.lk
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 13.02.2019]

SLTDA to call proposals to develop master plans for Kuchchaweli and Kalpitiya tourism zones

Source: www.dailymirror.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

(image courtesy: GoogleEarth 2019)

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) is to develop master plans for sustainable tourism development activities in Kuchchaweli Beach Tourism Zone and Kalpitiya Tourism Zone within six months, in order to lease out land plots for investors.

SLTDA will call for Request for Proposal (RFP) from consultancy firms to develop master plans for two tourism zones from next week onwards.

The selected bidders are expected to conduct preliminary studies, develop designs for the zones, prepare guidelines for each land plot for development, and prepare guidelines for transport and infrastructure facilities.

In addition, they are also expected to develop a marketing strategy and an investment plan for the Kalpitiya Tourism Zone to brand Kalpitiya as a unique destination with innovative products and retain its positioning as a top-ranking island resort destination.

Speaking to Mirror Business, an SLTDA official said they plan to attract investments for sustainable community-based tourism activities for the 510-acre Kuchchaweli Tourism Zone. According to him, Kuchchaweli is expected to be developed as a signature tourism resort in order to develop the Eastern Province by attracting investments to create employment opportunities and create demand for link industries such as fishing, agriculture in the area... [read more]

Copyrights: www.dailymirror.lk
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 07.02.2019]

Cities should consider nature-based solutions to climate change

Source: sustainability-times.com. Please click here to visit the source.

It's 2050. You walk out of the house. The day is shiny but not too hot. You know that the mirrors in orbit around the planet that reflect back sunlight keep the climate just perfect. On the way to work, from the window of your self-driving floating solar module, you gaze over a plant installed a few years ago: it’s sucking excess carbon from the atmosphere and locks it into 3D-printed chairs, shoes, and other objects.

You get out of the module looking at the 72nd floor of a solar-powered skyscraper where you work and feel happy we have achieved all this, even though we didn’t manage to save most of the original coral reefs. We’ve also lost all the wild polar bears, adélie penguins and few thousand other species, while many countries globally have been hit hard by climate change. Still, it took us only two decades to get all the climate technology working. For a moment, you wonder: “Could this have been any different?”

Now back to 2019. You are just reading a piece on nature-based solutions. While some scientists say that geoengineering our future is the only way to secure a livable climate, others believe that even with all the technology available we should still learn to work with nature first. And they’ve got the facts and arguments to back up their stance. Nature-based (or simply “natural”) solutions have been around for millennia, but only recently have they started to emerge into concrete approaches within urban planning, finding wider support among scientists and decisionmakers worldwide... [read more]

Copyrights: sustainability-times.com
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 02.02.2019]

Building smart cities needs more than just technology

Source: www.openaccessgovernment.org. Please click here to visit the source.

There are questions to be answered on building smart cities: how should people be housed? How should they travel? How should waste product be managed?

Answering these questions is no easy matter, as the sustainable future of the planet relies on establishing good solutions to them all. The modern city faces a number of incredible challenges, such as experiencing population growth at a remarkable rate.

Cities are symbols of empowerment, bringing people together to work, socialise, learn and live. For some time, many have talked about the potential for cities to further galvanise their inhabitants by becoming smarter, more efficient and more sustainable.

Across the world, we’re seeing this discussion start to materialise; with projects that are beginning to realise the true promise of what a smart city is and how it can improve our lives as citizens.

Aside from technology, what else is necessary for a smart city?

Such projects go far beyond simply providing connectivity for all or offering access to information on public services, such as transport. Smart city initiatives are digitally transforming public services, completely altering the way in which the built environment is constructed and managed and the way in which we interact and live within these environments.

However, the smart city as a holistic vision is about more than just technology. Smart cities are about thinking smarter too, with the objective that they need to solve human problems. Smart cities need to solve problems like how to improve roads networks and transport infrastructure, or how we design and use our public spaces to make them more liveable and contemporary whilst integrating technology as opposed to laying it on top... [read more]

Copyrights: www.openaccessgovernment.org
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 01.02.2019]

Mobile app introduced to coordinate garbage collection

Source: www.dailymirror.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

The Minuwangoda Urban Council (MUC) together with the Western Provincial Council (WPC) launched a mobile app in a bid to streamline the garbage collection process in the local government area.

The pilot project, will cover the Minuwangoda residential area for the moment but can be considered the stepping stone for the development of a communicative digital platform between residents and officials.

The project implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and the Waste Management Authority of the Western Province will inform residents of the dates and times garbage collection will take place in the area. Residents can also lodge complaints relating to garbage collection, upload pictures of areas and garbage dumps that need to be cleared.

Speaking of the advantages of the app, Director of the Western Province Waste Management Authority Nalin Mannapperuma said many residents were not aware of the schedules for garbage collection.

“Garbage has been a problem that has plagued us time and time again. We believe that the residents who do not follow through with the guidelines set out by us for garbage collection and segregation is due to the fact that they are not privy to the most basic information. The app will ensure that residents are in the loop and can work accordingly.”... [read more]

Copyrights: www.dailymirror.lk
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 31.01.2019]

Why ‘Density’ Is a Bad Word

Source: www.governing.com. Please click here to visit the source.

Science tells us that density equals mass divided by volume. In planning circles, density usually equals the number of homes divided by the amount of land. We aren’t really thinking about the mass of homes -- about how much they weigh -- but you can see how the scientific term is a pretty good stand-in for what we’re measuring.

Still, despite its utility, I can’t think of a worse word than “density” to describe putting more or fewer people in one place. If density were invited to a party, it would be the unsmiling guy in a dark suit, standing in a corner.

For decades now, as our urban regions have evolved, the density debates have been intense. Planners generally want more density because it dovetails with mass transit, is more environmentally friendly and provides a variety of housing types. Neighborhood activists generally want less. Often, the result is an impasse; nothing happens.

Maybe part of the problem is the word. It doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with people, and it’s certainly not something anyone would want more of. There’s also the problem that, when used as an adjective, its meaning is relative. One person’s dense neighborhood is another person’s sprawl.

Because the word is so unappealing, I’ve been searching for a better one. Despite years of thinking about it, I haven’t come up with one yet. “Crowded” comes to mind. But that’s negative. And it’s also relative. What feels crowded to me won’t to someone else. Another term that comes to mind is “community.” If you have more people in one place, you potentially have more community, meaning more people to get to know, marry or play bridge with... [read more]

Copyrights: www.governing.com
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 30.01.2019]

These Are the Three Biggest Threats to Humanity: Report

Source: theurbandeveloper.com. Please click here to visit the source.

... Urban design, transport, and land use

But focusing on the intersections between our built environment and the issues, the report also reveals how within governance processes, urban planning decisions can contribute to reducing obesity and undernutrition while simultaneously working towards mitigating climate change.

“Transport systems, urban design, and land use are interconnected systems that have an enormous effect on climate change and obesity through their impact on greenhouse-gas emissions, physical activity, and diet,” reveals the commissioned report.

Urban design and its impact on health

The challenges of global environmental change make it essential that cities become more sustainable.

“Many overlaps exist between health and sustainability at the urban level,” the report said.

“Re-establishing the link between urban planning and public health is a high priority.”

There's been an increasing recognition of the many ways in which urban planning and design can affect human health in recent decades.

City leadership

Urban design and land use reflect underlying social and economic conditions, and systems of governance, resulting in very different types of urban and rural environments throughout the world.

“For example, there are some compact and dense cities that are suitable for walking and cycling, sprawling cities dominated by freeways for cars, formal housing areas with good quality housing and services, overcrowded slums with a lack of basic services, high-density subsistence farming areas and low-density commercial farmland.”

And most major cities are forced to address the twin challenges of traffic congestion and air pollution.

With transport accounting for around 14-25 per cent of greenhouse-gas emissions the report calls for transport systems and community designs that support “active transportation and reduced car use”.

“Switching reliance on cars and trucks to more public transportation, active transportation, and rail freight will address the targeted issues of congestion and air quality as well as reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and increase physical activity.”... [read more]

Copyrights: theurbandeveloper.com
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[shared on 29.01.2019]

GOOGLE’S SIDEWALK LABS PLANS TO PACKAGE AND SELL LOCATION DATA ON MILLIONS OF CELLPHONES

Source: theintercept.com. Please click here to visit the source.

MOST OF THE data collected by urban planners is messy, complex, and difficult to represent. It looks nothing like the smooth graphs and clean charts of city life in urban simulator games like “SimCity.” A new initiative from Sidewalk Labs, the city-building subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has set out to change that.

The program, known as Replica, offers planning agencies the ability to model an entire city’s patterns of movement. Like “SimCity,” Replica’s “user-friendly” tool deploys statistical simulations to give a comprehensive view of how, when, and where people travel in urban areas. It’s an appealing prospect for planners making critical decisions about transportation and land use. In recent months, transportation authorities in Kansas City, Portland, and the Chicago area have signed up to glean its insights. The only catch: They’re not completely sure where the data is coming from.

Typical urban planners rely on processes like surveys and trip counters that are often time-consuming, labor-intensive, and outdated. Replica, instead, uses real-time mobile location data. As Nick Bowden of Sidewalk Labs has explained, “Replica provides a full set of baseline travel measures that are very difficult to gather and maintain today, including the total number of people on a highway or local street network, what mode they’re using (car, transit, bike, or foot), and their trip purpose (commuting to work, going shopping, heading to school).”... [read more]

Copyrights: theintercept.com
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 28.01.2019]

Will Self-Driving Cars Take Us to Utopia or Urban Hell?

Source: truthout.org. Please click here to visit the source.

Despite public trepidation, self-driving cars are now debuting in San Francisco and Phoenix, Arizona. These robot taxis are required to have human backup drivers for now, but “autonomous vehicle” technology is quickly improving as major corporations such as Uber, Google, Apple and Tesla continue to invest.

RehtinkX, an independent tech think tank, estimates that 95 percent of passenger miles traveled in the United States will be served by automated taxi services by 2030. Analysts and transportation advocates are no longer questioning whether self-driving cars, buses and delivery vehicles are going to a viable part of our transportation future. Instead, they are debating what that future should look like.

Environmental equity researcher Hana Creger has two distinct visions of a future where self-driving vehicles are part of everyday life. She warns that if policy makers allow the market to make decisions without regulation, taxation and community input, we could be headed toward “transportation hell.” In this scenario, self-driving cars are used mainly by those wealthy enough to afford a luxury replacement to personal vehicles, leaving everyone else with congested streets, heavy traffic, longer commutes in sprawling cities and a deteriorating, underfunded public transportation system. Meanwhile, opportunities to cut climate-disrupting carbon emissions would be lost.

On the other hand, Creger also envisions a modern landscape where self-driving cars are part of a cleaner transportation system built for everyone. In this scenario, fleets of electric automated vehicles are shared by commuters, reducing traffic and air pollution, and providing mobility that everyone can afford — including working people who currently use public transportation rather than personal cars and may not have immediate access to the latest smartphone or digital gadget. Self-driving taxis compliment walking, biking, and traditional bus and train routes rather than encourage urban sprawl and crowded highways... [read more]

Copyrights: truthout.org
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 27.01.2019]

Lanka’s disabled public cheated of full access to public resources

Source: www.sundaytimes.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

Despite strong laws, little has been done to make public buildings and transportation accessible to people with disabilities.

“Laws regarding disability accessibility exist but through inspection, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) found buildings that failed to fulfill the requirement,” commission Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama said.

The question was, how had those buildings been given a Certificate of Completion given their failing, she queried.

Dr. Udagama said although local government authorities were conscious of disability access requirements they missed the fact that such requirements were mandatory.

Article 14 (1) (h) of the Constitution guarantees free movement and Article 12 (4) makes provision for special measures to be taken for the advancement of persons with disability.

Moreover, section 23 (2) of the Protection of Persons with Disabilities and section (4) of the amendment Act reaffirms accessibility rights and Accessibility Regulation No.01 of 2006 requires that within a period of three years from the date of implementation all existing public buildings, public places and places where common services are available should be made accessible to persons with disabilities.

Further, a Supreme Court decision in Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera v. Attorney-General and Others reaffirmed this right in 2009 and stated that new venues should be designed and constructed in accordance with regulations giving access to disabled persons... [read more]

Copyrights: www.sundaytimes.lk
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 26.01.2019]

Predicting gentrification in order to prevent it

Source: www.cudenvertoday.org. Please click here to visit the source.

A new research model allows urban planners, policymakers and community leaders to better focus resources to limit gentrification in vulnerable neighborhoods throughout the U.S.

By examining the “people, place and policy” factors that determine whether a neighborhood will gentrify or not, the model offers a better understanding of what fosters gentrification and what limits it. This process reveals the roles that government and policy can proactively play in limiting its most damaging impacts.

“This model is a new way of thinking about what influences gentrification and how to prevent it,” said study co-author Jeremy Németh, PhD, associate professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. “This study debunks the argument that gentrification is an uncontrollable consequence of market forces, and outlines specific strategies where communities have real power to limit it.”

Public agencies, nonprofits and city governments with limited resources can use publicly available data to model gentrification likelihood, establish early warning systems and then develop prevention strategies for their communities... [read more]

Copyrights: www.cudenvertoday.org
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[shared on 25.01.2019]

Web application helps urban planners design cities

Source: phys.org. Please click here to visit the source.

Urban planners must take a myriad of different objectives into account when designing development programs. These can include optimizing a neighborhood's built density, preserving old monuments and buildings, using renewable energy, cutting COemissions and minimizing costs – to name a few. These objectives are often contradictory and hard to quantify, and sometimes not fully understood.

But Sébastien Cajot and Nils Schüler – two researchers in EPFL's School of Engineering Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering (IPESE) Group headed by Professor François Maréchal – have developed a novel approach to urban planning, called SAGESSE, and an associated software program to help urban planners out.

Available as a web application, their program lets planners enter the criteria important to them and get a rapid overview of the different variants possible. Cajot and Schüler worked with the Canton of Geneva to develop their software, testing it out on the Cherpines and Palettes neighborhoods. The researchers' findings appear in Frontiers ICT... [read more]

Copyrights: phys.org
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[shared on 24.01.2019]

Condominium development in Sri Lanka

Source: www.dailynews.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

The University of Moratuwa and the Condominium Management Authority have collaborated on developing “sustainable condominium development” strategies for the country. This report discusses outcomes of the research study on condominium development in the country in terms of planning and building design. The study was conducted by a team of academics, led by Dr. Upendra Rajapaksha, Head of the Department of Architecture, University of Moratuwa, under the direction of C. A. Wijeyeweere, Chairman of the Condominium Management Authority. The research project is funded by the Senate Research Council of the University of Moratuwa.

Thirty nine recommendations are given for development of sustainable condominiums that can provide a high quality of living. The recommendations suggested in the report are expected to help authorities to reform relevant acts, regulations and policies for sustainable condominium development in the country.

As urban migration increases, the Sri Lankan housing market is acknowledging the challenge with a new building typology, the high-rise residential building. In Sri Lankan context, high-rise residential developments are at highest of their popularity in Colombo and suburbs, and have recently expanded to Galle, Kandy and Nuwara-Eliya.

Recognising the energetic expansion in the high-rise trend, the Condominium Management Authority (CMA) and the Department of Architecture, University of Moratuwa has embarked on a joint research venture to investigate the integration of high-rise living into sustainable development of the country.

The study mainly focused on seven areas of sustainable planning and building design listed below at the city, neighbourhood, building and unit scale... [read more]

Copyrights: www.dailynews.lk
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[shared on 23.01.2019]

Copenhagen wants to build 9 artificial islands to house 'the European Silicon Valley.' Take a look at the plan.

Source: www.pulse.com.gh. Please click here to visit the source.

...At an anticipated 33 million square feet, it's set to become the largest area of reclaimed land land that's culled from oceans, riverbeds, or lakes in all of Scandinavia. It's also expected to generate around 12,000 jobs in fields like biotechnology and life science.

A key element of the project is its focus on climate resilience.

By reserving space for the biggest waste-to-energy plant in Northern Europe, the architect a firm called Urban Power hopes to reduce polluting carbon emissions. The soil will also provide a natural flood barrier that can protect against rising sea levels .

When all is said and done, the islands could become the future home of a tech community that's been dubbed "the European Silicon Valley " by the head of the Danish chamber of commerce... [read more]

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[shared on 22.01.2019]

New entity to handle Port City land sales

Source: www.dailymirror.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

A new procurement and regulatory entity is to be established within next three to six months to conduct land sales, handle regulation and development activities of Colombo Port City (CPC), a top government official told Mirror Business.

The first land sale is targeted to be completed towards the latter part of this year, following the president declaring the CPC land as part of Sri Lanka’s territory.

Urban Development Authority (UDA) Chairman Dr. Jagath Munasinghe said that various agencies, including the Legal Draftsman’s Department, Attorney General’s Department and Survey Department, are currently in the process of completing the groundwork for the president to declare CPC as part of Sri Lanka’s territory.

“We have sent the necessary documents to the Legal Draftsman, Attorney General, etc. In addition, the Surveyor General has to confirm the boundary lines of CPC. All these matters are taken care of now as we speak. Once the process is concluded, it will be sent for the president’s signature,” he said... [read more]

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[shared on 21.01.2019]

Airbnb’s adverse impact on urban housing markets

Source: theconversation.com. Please click here to visit the source.

... It’s now clear that a single American company has upended local markets, pushed rental prices skyward and could be contributing to poverty, especially in cities popular with tourists.

Toronto City Council was slow to recognize the dangers posed by Airbnb, not only to unionized hotel workers but also to the million-plus tenants who need stable and affordable accommodation.

Late in 2017, regulations were put in place making it difficult for deep-pocketed investors to buy multiple condos for the purpose of listing them on Airbnb.

But the 2017 regulations were appealed by some Airbnb hosts to Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Six commercial operators added their voice.

The hearings on the new bylaw are set for August 2019. In the meantime, there are no rules... [read more]

Copyrights: theconversation.com
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[shared on 20.01.2019]

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) named as World Capital of Architecture for 2020

Source: en.unesco.org. Please click here to visit the source.

UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture Ernesto Ottone R, Thomas Vonier, President of the International Union of Architects (UIA), and Verena Vicentini Andreatta, Municipal Secretary of the City of Rio for Urbanism, on Friday 18 January announced that the city of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) will be the World Capital of Architecture for 2020.

“The World Capital of Architecture initiative underscores the common commitment of UNESCO and the UIA to preserve architectural heritage in the urban context," said Ernesto Ottone R. “Through the range and quality of its activities, the World Capital of Architecture in Rio de Janeiro will demonstrate the crucial role of architecture and culture in sustainable urban development.”

In keeping with UNESCO’s recent partnership agreement with the UIA, UNESCO, designates the World Capital of Architecture, which also hosts the UIA’s World Congress, an event that takes place every three years. The World Capital of Architecture is intended to become an international forum for debates about pressing global challenges from the perspectives of culture, cultural heritage, urban planning and architecture.

As the first World Capital of Architecture, Rio de Janeiro will hold a series of events under the theme “All the worlds. Just one world,” and promote the internationally agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s 11th Goal: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

UNESCO, the UIA and local institutions will organize activities to promote projects involving architects and urban planners as well as policy makers, social institutions and professionals from other sectors including artists and writers in an open and creative space of dialogue and innovation.

Copyrights: en.unesco.org
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[shared on 19.01.2019]

Urban rooms: where people get to design their city’s future

Source: theconversation.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...An urban room can act as an exhibition hall, a community centre and a learning space, while giving people opportunities to help redesign and reimagine their city’s future. Urban rooms are already commonplace in countries such as China and Singapore, in the form of urban planning museums, city galleries or exhibition centres. These are all places where the public can directly engage with a physical space dedicated to understanding the past, present and future of the city.

Many of these spaces not only incorporate very large physical models, but also have space dedicated to understanding the urban planning stories and future paths of these cities. Models are a useful tool to help people visualise key public spaces, and the impact that new design proposals will have on the cityscape.

For example, Singapore’s mega model is located in the Singapore city gallery, which first opened in 1999 to tell the story of the nation’s planning efforts, including its intensive social housing programme. It is important these spaces are open, so members of the public can easily access planning information... [read more]

Copyrights: theconversation.com
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[shared on 18.01.2019]

How Urban Planning Can Help Us Cope With Climate Change

Source: www.archdaily.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...Led by scientist Rolan Pellenq from MIT and the National Centre for Scientific Research, the study found that cities like New York were built with a precise grid-like structure and are, as a result, far hotter than cities with a more chaotic arrangement such as London. By studying over 50 cities, the researchers found that the straight, horizontal streets trap more heat.

They believe this could give city planners an edge: “If you’re planning a new section of Phoenix,” Pellenq says, “you don’t want to build on a grid, since it’s already a very hot place. But somewhere in Canada, a mayor may say no, we’ll choose to use the grid, to keep the city warmer.”

Understanding its effects can also change the materials used in our cities as well as lessen the costs incurred. It's already known that materials like concrete absorb heat during the day and release heat at night. Concrete buildings and asphalt roads generate much more heat than an area covered in vegetation. Knowing this will hopefully encourage investigation into alternatives, say researchers.

Further, the study found that in the state of Florida alone urban heat island effects cause an estimated $400 million in excess costs for air conditioning. According to Pellenq, this can be avoided if city planners invested in smarter city design such as placing utility lines, sewer and water pipes, and transportation systems in areas where heat is not as concentrated... [read more]

Copyrights: www.archdaily.com
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[shared on 17.01.2019]

Govt assures seamless connectivity to Port City

Source: www.dailynews.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

The World Economic Forum website estimated that the broad market for smart cities’ products and services will be worth over $2.57 trillion by 2025, growing at a rate of 18.4 percent per year on average.

The Port City is going to be a smart city and it will be taking a share of that market ,said Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka during a vist to the Port city yesterday.

Port City is a technological marvel and without doubt, one of the most spectacular development projects this country will ever see. “The way it has been developed and reclaimed from the sea, the way the marina seawall has been developed, the way ground improvement, artificial beaches, and numerous other aspects of construction are being managed - the complexities of developing this new city are so many.”

How CHEC is handling this iconic project is commendable and we are very happy to have partnered with them to build Sri Lanka’s first modern planned city that is slated to become an attraction for the entire region.

China’s technological advancement has definitely come of age - just two weeks ago, we got to hear that China became the first country to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s far side. This is the true capacity of China and we are proud as an Asian nation... [read more]

Copyrights: www.dailynews.lk
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[shared on 16.01.2019]

Can we trust the government to judge what's beautiful?

Source: www.theguardian.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...The long-dead Le Corbusier was attacked as a man “who is responsible for many bad things”, planners were accused of having “not learned their lesson” since the war, and it was brazenly asserted that “where modern design does succeed, that is largely by accident”. Some reached for the words of Philip Larkin, while others clutched at scientific research on how the “specialised cells in the hippocampal region of our brains” are attuned to beautiful geometry.

Matters weren’t helped when Malthouse tweeted a photo of a glazed commercial building on Oxford Street and a neoclassical stone courthouse in Alabama with the caption: “Both built in the last 10 years. One will stand for centuries, one won’t.” If the comment was intended to troll the architecture profession, it worked. The minister was slammed for being out of touch, anti-progress and “pandering to rightwing populist nostalgia”

It’s easy to dismiss the endeavour as a distraction from the real issues at stake, such as developers’ monopolies on land or the absence of a mass council house-building programme. But might there be something in it? John Hayes, the Conservative MP who called the parliamentary debate, might have had a point when he said: “Whereas people once anticipated development with joy, they now very often look on it with despair.” Ed Vaizey put it more succinctly: “The quality of building is shockingly bad.”... [read more]

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[shared on 15.01.2019]

Japan has so many vacant homes it's giving them away

Source: kywnewsradio.radio.com. Please click here to visit the source.

... A free house may sound like a scam. But Japan faces an unusual property problem: it has more homes than people to live in them.

In 2013, there were 61 million houses and 52 million households, according to the Japan Policy Forum. And the situation is poised to get worse.

Japan's population is expected to decline from 127 million to about 88 million by 2065, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security, meaning even fewer people will need houses. As young people leave rural areas for city jobs, Japan's countryside has become haunted by deserted "ghost" houses, known as "akiya."

It's predicted that by 2040, nearly 900 towns and villages across Japan will face a risk of extinction, according to a 2014 report entitled 'Local Extinctions' published by Hiroya Masuda. And Okutama is one of them. In that context, giving away property is a bid for survival.

"In 2014, we discovered that Okutama was one of three Tokyo (prefecture) towns expected to vanish by 2040," says Kazutaka Niijima, an official with the Okutama Youth Revitalization (OYR) department, a government body set up to repopulate the town... [read more]

Copyrights: kywnewsradio.radio.com
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[shared on 14.01.2019]

Sarasota’s walkability report card

Source: www.heraldtribune.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...We mostly fail to create comfort barriers for sidewalks with parallel, on street parking; we’re too fixated on roundabouts and infatuated with palm trees; we “plop” rather than integrate our public art; we focus on reducing congestion instead of increasing density and we’ve done little to create streets that are compatible with and friendly to cyclists, “the No. 1 thing the millennial workforce wants,” Speck said.

“And then there’s Fruitville ... ” he sighed, before laying into a critique of the major east/west artery, a street with too many lanes that are too wide; too many cars going too fast; sidewalks too slim for comfort; and a dearth of pleasing aesthetics and diverse retail opportunities.

Speck, who now heads his own D.C.-based firm, took a walking tour of the downtown core last Thursday, then spent nearly 90 minutes going over the pluses and minuses of what he’d observed during an evening presentation in the City Commission chambers. While his comments were often favorable — he especially praised the amount of residential units that have been added (even if they aren’t affordable) — but made clear that if Sarasota is truly committed to walkability, “You’re not done yet.”

And, as for the urban sprawl across much of the rest of the county, Speck didn’t offer much hope. “In Sarasota, you have a great downtown core,” he said, “but further out, the structure is lost. The majority of the region will remain auto-centric for a long time.”

In order for people to choose walking rather than driving — particularly in a country where driving is relatively easy and cheap — you have to offer streets that feel safe and comfortable, are interesting and diverse and provide useful destinations and reasons to stroll. Shorter blocks (200 feet is ideal; 600 is pushing it), narrower vehicle lanes (nine feet is best); and ample sidewalks bounded by cars parked at the curb can help walkers feel protected and enclosed. A diversity of shops, a lack of repetition in design and a plethora of shady, canopy trees provide visual interest, creature comfort and utility... [read more]

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[shared on 13.01.2019]

‘45-minute city, 20-minute towns’: Advisory panel outlines vision for Land Transport Master Plan 2040

Source: www.channelnewsasia.com. Please click here to visit the source.

SINGAPORE: A 45-minute commute to work, and 20 minutes to reach amenities within residential towns.

These are some of the goals proposed for the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 – and they were shared by several members of its advisory panel at a focus group discussion on Saturday (Jan 12).

In August 2018, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) launched a public engagement exercise to canvass feedback on the masterplan.

The LTA sought feedback on three broad themes: How to encourage commuters to use public transport as a preferred mode of travel; how to create more inclusive commutes; and how to improve quality of life through public transport.

In the masterplan, public transport is envisioned as a transport mix termed as Walk-Cycle-Ride. This would include buses, rail, taxis and private hire cars, and active mobility devices such as bicycles and e-scooters.

On Saturday, advisory panel member Mr Melvin Yong presented a vision for residents to have access to a variety of options that will be fast, convenient and well-connected to get to their destination... [read more]

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[shared on 12.01.2019]

Failure of Mumbai's Monorail Holds Lessons for Urban Planners Everywhere

Source: thewire.in. Please click here to visit the source.

...Experts had warned even then that it was a foolhardy idea, which would have no practical or substantive impact on the city’s transportation since monorail rakes have low carrying capacity, the planned route is unnecessary and expensive and the technology untested – it hasn’t been used as a mode of mass transportation anywhere in the world – and will have low cost-recovery rate.

Additionally, cheaper modes, such as the bus rapid transit system – which could achieve the same ridership and speed at a lower cost – were not considered.

“Monorail is a new experiment, one that has hardly any use for the city,” said Ashok Datar, chairman of the Mumbai Environmental Social Network.

MMRDA first conceptualised monorail in 2005 and approved its implementation in a meeting conducted on September 28, 2007. A Consortium of Larsen & Toubro with Malaysian partner Scomi Engineering Bhd was awarded the contract On November 11, 2008, to build and operate the monorail.

Now, eight years later, it has become apparent that the project has neither served the purpose of taking the load off the suburban train network nor act as an efficient feeder system. If anything, it has suffered from a string of accidents, maintenance issues and stagnant passenger load. Its services were shut for ten months after a coach caught fire in November 2017... [read more]

Copyrights: thewire.in
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[shared on 11.01.2019]

Disasters ‘waiting to happen’ in mushrooming high-rises

Source: www.sundaytimes.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

Fears have risen over safety compliance in high-rise buildings following the recent tragic elevator crash, with concerns spreading to whether inadequate firefighting ability for tall buildings have made them fire traps.

In Colombo, where 90 per cent of the buildings are residential apartments accommodating families, questions are being raised about elevator safety as investigations continue into why a lift plunged down one floor on December 29, injuring two people and crushing to death a man who tried to jump out of the lift.

Reports said that the 30-year-old elevator at the Green Lanka tower building failed due to a lack of maintenance. Theories are also rife that the lift gave way under the weight it was carrying as too many (12) people had got in.

Construction bodies are also concerned about firefighting capacity in case of a major fire in apartment blocks.

Chamber of Construction Industry Secretary Col. Nissanaka Wijeratne said the mushrooming buildings in greater Colombo were “a disaster waiting to happen”... [read more]

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[shared on 10.01.2019]

Govt. to gazette 30-year revised National Physical Plan this month

Source: www.dailymirror.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

Sri Lanka’s revised 30-year National Physical Plan (2019-2050), which had been delayed due to two months of political turmoil that prevailed in the country last year, is expected to be gazetted by end of this month, Mirror Business learns.

The key element of the draft plan is to develop Colombo-Trincomalee Economic Corridor, which consists one-third of the island’s population, as the main economic corridor by drawing private investments worth of US $ 4 billion from local and foreign investors.

The government plans to invest US $ 400 million for initial infrastructure developments over the 30-year period.

The future development initiatives in the corridor, such as industrial estates, cultural development and tourism zones and urban service centres will be concentrated on six major population centres in the corridor—Colombo Megapolis, Gampaha Metro Region, Negombo Metro Region, Kurunegala Metro Region, Dambulla Metro Region and Trincomalee Metro Region... [read more]

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[shared on 09.01.2019]

Urbanisation, not a panacea for all economic ills

Source: www.dailynews.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

Since mid-1970s, the professionals addressing the global forums brought into prominence three important global issues. The first was the worsening state of the earth’s bio-physical environment, the second was the process which we now refer to as ‘globalization’ and the third was the rapidity of urbanization taking place, particularly in the developing countries. Most of the developing countries have only little control over the first two issues but if they take due recognition to the third one, appropriate initiatives could be taken to mitigate its adverse effects.

Sri Lanka, too, has a visibly high rate of urbanisation although statistically it is less than the rest of the South Asian countries. According to the official statistics, only 18.2% of the population lives in urban areas. Analysts believe it does not reflect the true picture. Even the World Bank notes that ‘while urbanisation data in Sri Lanka are much debated, there is consensus that the country is urbanising faster than the statistical figures suggest’.

On the other hand, in many cities in Sri Lanka, the true extent of the city extends beyond its administrative boundaries, while as much as one-third of the population may be living in areas that ought to be classified as urban areas. Reinforcing these views, the Department of Census and Statistics confirms that the current figures seem to under-estimate urbanisation and that the urban population ‘would have been much higher if the definitional issues were resolved’... [read more]

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[shared on 08.01.2019]

Laggala "Green Town" is handed over to the residents displaced by Kalu-Ganga Reservoir Project

Source: www.sundaytimes.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

President Maithripala Sirisena will vest the new Laggala town with the public on Tuesday (8). The old Laggala town was submerged by the Kalu Ganga Reservoir due to the construction of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Multi-Purpose Development Project.

The new Laggala town was built to meet the needs of 3,000 families of the old town who were displaced due to the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga project. The new town has been designed according to the modern urban park concept with a total investment of Rs4.5 billion.

The town is another benefit of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Multi-purpose Development Project, which is the brainchild of President Sirisena. The Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga project is the largest multi-purpose development project in the country... [read more]

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