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Legal and institutional limitations for the conservation of built heritage in Colombo

Author:

Janakie Edirisinghe

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Janakie
Department of Estate Management Valuation
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Abstract

The built heritage in urban areas is severely threatened due to the increased demand for land and buildings for more profitable uses in the process of urbanization and urban development. Even though the areas have been identified and declared as conservation areas they have been kept aside and unattended which leads to several other harmful effects. Conservation on the other hand has become a challenging task due to various impediments and drawbacks in the institutional and legal structure in developing countries. The main objective of this paper is therefore to identify the limitations of the existing institutional and legal framework relating to the conservation and management of buildings with architectural and/or historical values in the city of Colombo by highlighting the issues and challenges in conservation of built heritage in emerging increased urbanization. In Sri Lanka, there are many measures taken for the protection of built heritage. Among them Department of Archaeology is the key institution overseeing the general legislative and policy framework. Colombo- the Colombo Municipal Council Area- which is selected as the case study of this article bears a historical value as it is located in a strategic position in the Indian Ocean. Currently Colombo is the Commercial Capital and the primate city in the country. Urban Development Authority (UDA) as the pioneering institution in urban development in the country has taken steps to conserve and manage the historical properties in Colombo by way of regulations and development projects along with the other stakeholders like Department Archaeology, and Colombo Municipal Council. However there are many issues and challenges still faced by the authorities in conservation and management of historical properties in the context of urbanization and urban development.

How to Cite: Edirisinghe, J., (2016). Legal and institutional limitations for the conservation of built heritage in Colombo. Bhumi, The Planning Research Journal. 3(2), pp.1–10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/bhumi.v3i2.15
Published on 20 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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