“Megapolis” Sri Lanka’s road to better sustainable development: Minister   

Oct 01, 2015 (LBO) – Mega cities are important to transform Sri Lanka into a smart country and Colombo will remain as the epicenter for economic activities, Minister Champika Ranawaka said.

“The proposed Megapolis concept is now underway and will span from Negombo to Beruwela and the Colombo city will be functioning as the epicenter,” Megapolis and Western Region Development Minister, Champika Ranawaka said.

He was speaking at the launch of World Bank’s “Leveraging Urbanization in South Asia” Report in Sri Lanka, in Colombo recently.

“The model is also based on the belief that if the cities in adjacent regions work together and they can create a new urban form that will increase economic opportunity and global competitiveness for each individual city and for the nation as a whole,” the Minister stressed.

Analysts says these clustered networks of cities will have to cooperate in the formation of a structure that takes advantage of their complementary roles while addressing common concerns in the areas of transportation mainly railways and highways, inclusive economic development and environmental protection.

The Megapsolis model, adopted in the U.S., has positively addressed the problems originating from growing congested transportation networks that are creating diseconomies, which in turn affect the economic vitality and quality of life in the cities and regions.

While in Europe and Asia, similar network cities are already being seen as the new competitive units in the global economy.

The European Union and national governments in Europe, China and Japan are investing hundreds of billions of dollars in new intermodal transportation and communication links and other infrastructure to underpin the capacity, efficiency and livability of these regions.

All of these places have new high-speed rail networks and are integrating the economies of formerly isolated regions.

The Minister says that there is a long term mission of transforming Sri Lanka into a smart county.

“If cities are following the right strategies then urbanization can bring about immense positive changes in the lives of billions of people and this can be an engine of growth and cultural development,” he said.

“We need smart infrastructure, advance technology, ICT, energy security and economic based on knowledge to a accomplish this goal.”

Development will be the epicenter to a longstanding firmly established and sustainable future urban process in Sri Lanka, he added.