How do we tackle urban sprawl in Sri Lanka?

Thursday 28 June 2018,

Urban sprawl is one of the key challenges facing Sri Lanka’s cities today. Sprawl development, typically defined as uncoordinated, low density urban expansion, involves rapid land consumption as cities expand and swallow up surrounding rural areas. Globally, urban sprawl is associated with a number of undesirable city attributes, from traffic jams to the destruction of important natural habitats on the urban fringe.

In Sri Lanka, urban sprawl is identified in the Government’s Public Investment Programme 2017-2020 as a priority issue facing urban planners. Addressing urban sprawl is also emphasised by development partners, including UN-Habitat and the World Bank, and is a component of key international agreements, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which has a specific indicator related to urban sprawl (the rate of urban land consumption), and the United Nations New Urban Agenda.


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