The assembly of cities is often a result of spontaneous evolutions that take place with the location of things, environmental factors, activities and people’s participation in them. Today, many parts of the world’s cities are undergoing dramatic transformations. It is more so in the global south, where more and more people are migrating to the cities and they are expanding rapidly. On the one hand, the modern luxuries, culture, education and health-care are available and can be provided more effectively only in cities. On the other, more rewarding employments and leisure are also available where people conglomerate; the cities. Although cities evolved into ever bigger ones through spontaneous developments in the past against which the planners lamented, today the desire is to make cities larger and larger. So much so, there is now a cry and craving to create mega cities.
Sri Lankan government has now embarked on a program to create more functional and sustainable cities ranging from small to mega. Colombo’s Megapolis is not built-from scratch but aspires to ‘stitch together’ the places that already exist and re-make them. Undeniably, present places will be transformed and it is here that the ideas of ‘place-making’, and ‘place-enabling’ have real relevance. The historic preservation and smart city concepts are also concerning in this regard. Recently Sri Lankan cities experience a number of disasters in settlements and mitigation from them is a task. Therefore, importance has to be given on these aspects in the proposed Mega City planning and ongoing urban development policies in Sri Lanka.
The ‘Centre for Cities - UoM Urban Lab’ will play a major role on the above areas in national development as an up-to-date research, advisory and guiding centre.
One and only scientific conference series held on the theme of Cities, Urban Development, Planning and Design in Sri Lanka.