Reclaimed beaches in Sri Lanka ‘will boost high-end tourism’ says eminent urban-planning expert
Reclaiming the sea to create high-end tourist beaches around the Sri Lanka coastline is a pet project of eminent Sri Lankan architect, urban planner and developer Surath Wickramasinghe.
In a piece in Ceylon Today, he says that “proposals of the Megapolis Ministry to reclaim the sea around the Galle Face Green in Colombo, and to extend it southwards to Dehiwela, is a commendable idea”.
And he cites countries many around the world, including Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong and Maldives, where reclaimed land “is used for tourism, entertainment, sports and recreation, parks and for cultural activities”.
But all of this will take time, he says, a good example being the famous Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, home to Brazil’s renowned annual carnival.
He writes: “The Copacabana Beach and the adjoining beaches with improvements to the Infrastructure took almost 60 years to complete, and by now the area has been transformed totally into a tourism hub.
“The urban designer has very cleverly integrated the commercial areas, hotels, and apartment buildings capturing the views of the ocean and the Copacabana and other beaches.”
He adds that “therefore, Sri Lanka should also follow this concept and use the sea sand for reclamation, after studying the backdrop to reclaiming land from the sea.
“The reclamation would need to be preceded by a marine planning search exercise along the island’s coastal belt. It could then identify the coastal zones suitable for reclamation.”
And he concludes that for Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city, “extending the reclamation from Colombo to Mount Lavinia will further enhance the economic potential of the country with tourism and other related activities happening on the reclaimed land.”
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