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Urban Water Body Recreational Development and Revitalizing Program in Sri Lanka: Public Perception and Willingness to Pay

Authors:

R. Ratnayake ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About R.
Department of Town & Country Planning
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N. Wickramaarachchi,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About N.
Department of Town & Country Planning
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P. Wattege

University of Moratuwa, LK
About P.
Department of Town & Country Planning
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Abstract

Urban water body recreational areas add varied socio- economic and environmental benefits to the urban lives. This study explores public perception and their willingness to pay for open water area recreational development at Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, Sri Lanka. A total number of 300 questionnaire surveys were carried out with users and non users of the recreational area. The monetary value of urban water front development was gauged by the contingent valuation method using payment card approach. Enjoying peace and relaxation, taking children to play and breath clean air were mentioned as most important aspects of open water body areas. More frequent visits occur to enjoy peace and relaxation, breath clean air and enjoy the natural landscape. Almost all the participants were agreed upon conserving open water body areas in urban settings. Willingness to pay was significantly associated with income and occupation status. It yielded a monthly average payment of Rs. Rs.446.93 per household for another five years time. There were 33 percent of zero bids. Limited budget was the main reason for not willing to pay. This study indicates the applicability of contingent valuation method in valuing economic value of non market goods in developing countries. The findings could assist future open water body development and conservation and argue the need of considering community views and expectations in relevant public spaces and policies. This paper is significant as there is no contingent valuation method study has been carried on water body development in Sri Lanka.
How to Cite: Ratnayake, R., Wickramaarachchi, N. & Wattege, P., (2017). Urban Water Body Recreational Development and Revitalizing Program in Sri Lanka: Public Perception and Willingness to Pay. Bhumi, The Planning Research Journal. 5(2), pp.41–54. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/bhumi.v5i2.30
Published on 31 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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