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Japanese expertise for planning Sri Lanka’s Kandy city upgrade

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan urban planners have been exposed to the latest Japanese urban planning and design methods under a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) program to modernise Kandy city.

A statement said JICA is supporting development of the Greater Kandy Urban Development Plan under a technical cooperation project with the island’s Urban Development Authority (UDA) to modernise the hill country capital.

“UDA and JICA have been working together since February 2017 to formulate the urban development vision, plan and design guidelines with the objective of realizing Kandy’s unique socio-economic potential while preserving its ancient heritage,” it said.

An urban planning expert team from Japan worked together with officials of UDA Kandy office, in collecting available data, analyzing current situation, and recommending improvements to urban plans and regulations.

 “The most important benefit from this technical cooperation is the exposure to urban planning methodologies and experiences from Japan the young UDA officers received from the Japanese experts,” said Jagath Munasinghe, chairman of UDA.

"This experience will help them to improve both the planning and implementation processes of urban development.”

UDA’s urban plan for Kandy is due to be submitted for public comment, and gazetted.

The technical cooperation from JICA was to provide technical inputs to enhance and improve the urban plan, as well as the process of formulation.

"Our experience in Japan is that development plans or regulations could be successfully implemented only if they were prepared in consultation with the affected citizens from the outset," said Fusato Tanaka, Chief Representative of JICA in Sri Lanka.

"In Kandy, this kind of practice is not easy as there is a high level of diversity in terms of social, economic and ethno-religious considerations.

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"So if the practice is to be used, it has to be adapted to ensure inclusivity and equity in representation of the citizens."

The final seminar to present the findings and recommendations of the technical cooperation project was held in Kandy on 9th of August 2018. (COLOMBO, 11 August, 2018)

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