JICA’s programme to modernize Kandy city exposes Sri Lankan urban planners to the latest in Japanese urban planning
A Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) programme to modernize the Kandy city in Sri Lanka has reportedly resulted in local urban planners being exposed to the latest Japanese urban planning and design methods.
A statement has reportedly said that 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 modernize 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,” the statement has said.
An urban planning expert team from Japan has worked together with officials of the 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,” Chairman of the UDA, Jagath Munasinghe has been quoted as saying in the local media.
“This experience will help them to improve both the planning and implementation processes of urban development.”
The UDA’s urban plan for Kandy is due to be submitted for public comment and then gazetted.
“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,” Chief Representative of JICA in Sri Lanka, Fusato Tanaka has reportedly said.
“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.
“So if the practice is to be used, it has to be adapted to ensure inclusivity and equity in representation of the citizens.”
The move by the UDA to modernize the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka provides an investment/business opportunity for foreign businesses/investors looking at engaging with the country. Meanwhile, the ongoing programme with JICA that in turn has resulted in the further knowledge development of Sri Lankan urban designers would result in the formation of a highly skilled pool of urban designers in Sri Lanka, whose services could be used by foreign businesses looking at setting up operations in the island nation.
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