Sense of the City
The Strategic Cities Development Project (SCDP) in Sri Lanka is set to usher in a new era of prosperity.
Bouncing back from a 30-year old civil war that ended in 2009, Sri Lanka’s economy has grown at an average 6.4 percent (2010-2015). This reflects the country’s determined policy towards peaceful reconstruction and growth. Sri Lanka faces the challenge of providing basic urban services and infrastructure to the growing demand of an urbanization process and structural reformation. A shift in the rural/urban population ratio is a part of economic and industrial development. The country wants to give its citizens access to economic opportunities with better living conditions, while preserving its cultural values.
By Yasmin Elahi secondary cities of Kandy, Galle and Jaffna are experiencing rapid growth in their population and industries, as well as providing huge opportunities to the country’s already booming economy. The increase in population also brings in a higher concentration of poverty, congestion and decline in access to quality civic services and facilities. To meet this challenge, a comprehensive program called Strategic Cities Development Project (SCDP) has been launched.
SCDP is a part of Sri Lanka’s National City Development Program. The project aims at improving basic infrastructure services in the rapidly growing cities of Kandy, Jaffna and Galle and creating a network of well-connected cities. It is being supported by the World Bank initially through a $202 million development credit. The project is expected to cost $257.08 million with the rest being funded by the Sri Lankan government. SCDP is planned to be completed by December 31, 2021 and some 650,000 people are expected to benefit from it.
Aligned with the government’s development agenda, SCDP aims at improving infrastructure and providing better living conditions to the residents and to the growing volume of tourists. The project will work on improving basic urban services i.e. water supply, drainage, traffic management, tourism