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Reclaiming Traffic Influenced Urban Residual Spaces for the Public in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Authors:

Anuka Weththasinghe ,

University of Moratuwa, LK
About Anuka
Department of Architecture
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Janaka Wijesundara

University of Moratuwa, LK
About Janaka
Department of Architecture
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Abstract

Although highly populated districts in Sri Lanka, like Colombo, suffer from decrement of open public spaces, there are many unused areas within the city. Most of them have existed because of traffic related activities and transport infrastructure needs. Therefore, revitalizing them is a challenging task. It is important to explore the possibilities of reclaiming traffic related-urban residual spaces for public use. This study investigates most suitable reclaiming possibilities in selected urban residual spaces with their usage and spatial qualities. The research collected data through questionnaires, interviews and systematic observations. Four cases were selected which varied in terms of their physical layout patterns, usage and location setting.

 

The study reveals that spatial and usage qualities of traffic related residual spaces vary, mainly due to location type and the extent of the site. People feel insecure due to vehicular movement. Observations show to what extent it is possible to mitigate such issues through design and planning strategies. Although the traffic-related residual spaces have residual symptoms, respondents believe that there is a possibility to reclaim those spaces for public use. Every residual space has unique appropriation / intervention possibilities. Evaluation of these can help select the most suitable reclaiming possibility for residual spaces. The paper also examines the idea of public-private partnerships as a strategy to evade residual symptoms and allow better management and control of reclaimed public spaces.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cpp.v2i1.17
How to Cite: Weththasinghe, A. & Wijesundara, J., (2017). Reclaiming Traffic Influenced Urban Residual Spaces for the Public in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Cities People Places : An International Journal on Urban Environments. 2(1), pp.26–54. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cpp.v2i1.17
Published on 16 Mar 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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