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A New Downtown for Colombo

Sri Lanka is changing. New high-rise buildings with high-end apartments, offices, and shopping malls are sprouting up at an increasing rate. Foreign influences are at work in the urban restructuring of the country – but who gets left behind?

Text: Shelby E. Ward & Ranitri Weerasuriya – 18.1.2021
Photos: Ranitri Weerasuriya

 

Sri Lanka is changing. Nowhere is this more evident than in its most prominent city, Colombo. New high-rise buildings with high-end apartments, offices, and shopping malls are sprouting up at an increasing rate. The massive Port City, which is built on a large land reclamation project financed with Chinese capital, makes it clear that foreign influences are at work in the urban restructuring of the country. Ranitri Weerasuriya and Shelby E. Ward describe these rapid changes in an essay in archithese’s new issue Geopolitik and ask, amidst multitiered efforts to create a "global city" in Colombo: Who gets left behind?

 

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