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A study on the process of studentification: a case study of Katubedda neighbourhood

Authors:

D. Sanmugarajah ,

University of Moratuwa, 10400, LK
About D.
Department of Town & Country Planning
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N. Kankanamge,

University of Moratuwa, 10400, LK
About N.
Department of Town & Country Planning
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R. Rathnayake,

University of Moratuwa, 10400, LK
About R.
Department of Town & Country Planning
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S. Kariyawasam

University of Moratuwa, 10400, LK
About S.
Department of Town & Country Planning
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Abstract

Studentification has been identified as a form of gentrification by many scholars. Spatial and socio-economic forces in an urban fabric, which are close to academic intuitions, lead to studentification. This form of gentrification is popular in many countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America where universities create towns and cities. Such studentification characteristics also could be identified around some of the leading universities in Sri Lanka. The University of Moratuwa is one such university in Sri Lanka where students from all over the country come for their higher education. Clearly, the impacts of university students could be observed in the immediate vicinity. Thus, this research incorporates both qualitative and quantitative tools to provide a comprehensive explanation for neighbourhood change and investigate the studentification process took place around the Moratuwa University. The process of studentification is examined through the lenses of economic, spatial and cultural changes that have occurred in the area. More than 200 occupants of residential, commercial and mixed-use establishments within a 500m walking distance from the university were interviewed to achieve the research objective. The study results show that the university has a great impact on changing the community in various dimensions such as standards of living and quality of life. The increasing demand for student accommodation has changed the entire socio-economic structure of the community living around the university. New investors have started to invest in this area targeting the students as their main consumer base. This study provides economic, social, cultural and physical evidences and the assessment can advance the understanding about the process of studentification happening in the Moratuwa university neighborhood. At the same time, negative impacts identified such as substandard buildings, rent capturing, and violation of building and land use regulations alarms the need for special regulations and strict enforcement in such neighbourhoods.
How to Cite: Sanmugarajah, D., Kankanamge, N., Rathnayake, R. and Kariyawasam, S., 2020. A study on the process of studentification: a case study of Katubedda neighbourhood. Bhumi, The Planning Research Journal, 7(2), pp.39–53. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/bhumi.v7i2.54
Published on 24 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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