Financial Times

Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka offers expertise

The Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka (ITPSL) is planning on linking up with government authorities that promote development to assist in rehabilitation and redevelopment in the North and East and in particular, the resettlement programmes.

At a recent media briefing, ITPSL President L.D. Dickman said the Institute is looking to collaborate with organizations like the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the Board of Investment (BOI) to offer their expertise and ensure proper plans are created for spatial development. He added that the plans must be done early to avoid problems such as shanty development. Mr. Dickman said the ITPSL is taking this on as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. Once the area is mapped, a provincial plan can be formulated within three to six months while priority areas can be located in a month.

Mr. Dickman said the urban population is expected to increase to 50% in 10 years from 22% in 2007 when the population was 20.2 million. The ITPSL, with over 600 members, wants town planners, architects and engineers to collaborate in the planning, not only in the North and East but also in the Southern Province where several mega projects such as the airport and port are set to take place. Mr. Dickman said property and real estate development is one way to boost economic development.

Mr. Dickman said the Institute, already a member of the Commonwealth Association of Planners, is also in the process of developing contacts with other countries and strengthening relations with SAARC nations. India and Bangladesh have been contacted to form a regional association. Moreover, he said the Commonwealth Association has decided to hold its next Annual General Meeting in Hambantota.
The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) developed a partnership with the Sri Lankan government through the ITPSL to assist in targeted planning projects in redeveloping areas hit by the tsunami in December 2004. The PIA project is being supported by AusAID for five year.

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