Training Workshop on Urban Landscape Ecological Planning

Post Graduate Institute of Social Science and Humanities (PGIHS) of the University of Peradeniya has organized the first Training Workshop on Urban Landscape Ecological Planning (TWULEP)  for postgraduate students who are following courses related to  urban development planning , landscape ecology, land use planning etc. and land use planners, urban planners, environmental officers, built environment engineers, local government officers.

The workshop commenced on 16th and 17th February 2018. This 2-day training workshop is designed to cover how urban planning can be benefited by in cooperating urban ecology especially integrating nature and networks into urban land use planning process.  The workshop includes an assessment of natural and cultural resources, formulating the spatial structure of the network and examination of network components using Kandy Urban Landscape as an example. 

>The inauguration of the program was held at the auditorium of the PGIHS on 16th February 2018.The Vice Chancellor Prof. Upul Dissanayake, Director PGIHS Prof Ananda Jayawickrama, Erasmus Coordinator Prof Anoma Abhayarathne and Head Department of Geography and the staff graced the occasion.

University of Peradeniya Vice Chancellor, Professor Upul B. Dissanayake said Kandy has had a continuous cultural pattern and this should be considered in any development plans.

He made the remarks at a ‘Training Workshop on Urban Landscape Ecological Planning: a case study on Kandy’ this month. The workshop was designed and coordinated by Dr D.M. Lalitha Dissanayake of the Department of geography, University of peradeniya.

Professor Maros Finka, an expert who worked with UN Habitat III, and Head of SPECTRA ‚Äď Center of Excellence of the European Union, and Director of Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, was the guest speaker. Guest speaker, Professor Maros Finka, drew the attention of planners to the environment and also the heritage. He said that current trends in the management and planning processes show the growing importance of landscape planning, especially after 2000.

Deputy Director of Urban Planning in Kandy, H.W. Somaratne said that the University of Peradeniya and the Urban Development Authority has come together to study the planning activities in Kandy for the first time.

He said that the most important aspect is a greener city. There are also plans to ease traffic congestion and that a new concept has been drawn with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to preserve Kandy’s heritage.

Dr Nalini Hennanayake addressed the urban planning process and procedure related to the Kandy city plan.

Professor Ranjith Dissanayake spoke about the ‘City I love’ and showed visuals of cities in comparison to those in Sri Lanka. He also shared visuals of towns he does not like and suggested how they could be transformed.

> Prof H.M.R.D. Herath, Emeritus Professor (Sociology), Prof Athula Senaratne, Senior Professor (Geology), Dr.Rekha Nianthi, Dr. Pushpika Masakorala, Dr. Lalitha Dissanayake, Senior Lecturers, Dr. C.S Hettiarachchi, Dr.S.I.S Subhasinghe, Lecturers in the Department of Geography, Faculty of           Ms Manishini Ekanayake, Research Student (Geography), PGIHS, including fourteen internal and external experts  contributed as resource persons.

Plenary discussion was the final session of the workshop and participated and graced the occasion comprised with  Prof P. Wickramagamage, Professor Emeritus (Geography), Mr. M.A.S Jayakumara Head Department of Geography, Dr.  KUDO, Toshiaki team leader (JICA),  Ms. Chandra Seneviratne, Director Land use Policy Planning(LUPP)/Kandy  , Dr. D.K.Jayarathne, Director Central Cultural Fund(CCF),  the training workshop on Urban Landscape Ecological Planning (TWULEP) resource panel and participants of the workshop comprised with officers of Urban Development Authority (UDA) Kandy, JICA Team Kandy, Landuse Policy Planning (LUPP) Kandy, Municipal Council (MC) Kandy, Road Development Authority (RDA) Colombo /Kegalle and subject interested students in University of Peradeniya.

Completion of the workshop, the participants and the Governing Authorities was able to understand the interactions, issues and problems between ecological and social factors in landscape development and issues and problems related to urban landscape and ecological planning, Improved urban landscape ecological planning ability and finally strengthened the proposed Kandy Urban plan.