Monday, July 19, 2010

Sustaining Colombo through sustaining colonial remnants

Professor Munasinghe in a interesting article to the Sunday Times talks about Colombo and how it should evolve giving consideration to its colonial history. He goes on to say that "Colombo, we note, is one of the most fitting examples to test the hypothesis of development through conservation- using cultural and heritage values to design a development framework"

Leaving aside the romantic notions of the colonial grandeur, should we conserve the so called colonial heritage which our colonial masters bestowed upon us? What should we really conserve?

He further mentions "Our proposal is not to import life patterns that have little to do with living society, its day-to-day activities or its particular origin and evolution, but to regenerate the old city fabric to make conservation of Colombo an economic feasibility. In addition to new uses and users, it is necessary to take measures to control rents, land ownership, and land utilization to control undue increase of property values or gentrification but without curtailing the growth of the city. Infusion of so-called cultural activities to make the historic fabric function alone may not be sustainable in Colombo but striking a balance between conservation of historic fabric and adding new may make the city function as one unit."

Are we conserving Colombo for the sake of Sri Lankan's or the foreigners that we expect would to pour down in the coming years?


Anonymous said...

Let's conserve it for the locals to re-purpose and use rather than mausoleums for wistful tourists, anyway the oil is going to run out soon and so will the tourists.