UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Finding justice for urban poor : a proposal for the reinvention of development-induced resettlement projects for low-income settlements in Colombo, Sri Lanka Kirige, Thiwanka Sandamali


Urbanization is believed to be the dominant force of the 21st century, while low-income countries are the highest expected rapid expansion in the next fifty years. Colombo, Sri Lanka's commercial capital, has witnessed tremendous growth in people migration, searching for employment, and other opportunities. This situation creates an unprecedented crisis in providing shelter for this ever-increasing urban population. The poor found refuge in underserved settlements built within the city limits, making Colombo a slum city. Having identified the value of these lands where the settlements emerged, the state started relocating the urban poor into high-rise buildings. In the studies done in Colombo about the relocation programs conducted by the governments' city beautification programs and urban regeneration projects, it has been observed that social exclusion continues to happen alarmingly, where the urban poor are virtually dumped in these housing silos. In real-life scenarios, these planning schemes imposed new challenges for resettles and assessed numerous adverse impacts on these people's lives. This thesis is trying to reimagine the concept of resettlement, developing a new concept of resettlement housing model to suit the Sri Lankan context incorporating alternatives and revisions to current design practices and urban policies. The main aim is to curb the negative results caused by the existing resettlement projects and educate and bring knowledge to the relevant authorities of Colombo and the local community to restructure the whole idea of resettlement while upholding these communities' well-being.

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