Colombo Municipal Council

කොළඹ (koḷam̆ba)
கொழும்பு (Koḻumpu)
Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka. It is the location of key economic infrastructure such as Colombo Port. It is the gateway city for visitors from around the world with the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport.

POPULATION IN 2012 CENSUS

561,314

SoSLC ESTIMATE IN 2017 - Colombo, Dehiwala and Kotte

889,000

POPULATION DENSITY ESTIMATE IN 2017 (Est. population/Built up area) - Colombo,Dehiwala and Kotte

115 persons / ha

MC ADMINISTRATIVE AREA

4,362ha

FRINGE URBAN AREA - Colombo, Dehiwala and Kotte-2017

38,134 ha

Demography

  • Population
    889,000
  • urban extent
    4,362 ha
  • density
    115 Person/ha

The section which is about "People & Functions" provides a description of the demographic status and trends in Sri Lankan cities, based on 2012 census data. 

This section presents some of the demographic patterns and trends in Sri Lankan cities within its current boundaries, which provides information for better planning of our cities. If these demographic pointers are taken into account, cities can be more livable and better service the citizenry of Sri Lanka.

The demographic attributes and functions of Sri Lanka's cities have implications for policy makers and planners achieving a better urban future for all Sri Lankans from the following aspects:

Competitive

  • Sri Lanka’s cities benefit from a demographic dividend that can drive the urban economy;
  • Cities provide key functions that drive Sri Lanka’s economy, including commercial, industrial and transport infrastructure, and supporting social services;

Inclusive

  • Cities could be the gateways to the economy and social integration of the varied ethnic and religious groups in the country. This rich heritage can be capitalized on to promote tourism while also building up national integration and social cohesion.
  • Inclusive urban planning and universal design will allow the aging population be mobile and access public services.
  • Residents in remote urban centres lack the social and economic opportunities afforded to residents of the capital, Colombo;

Resilient

  • Cities provide a range of important sevices that are important for the population to respond to shocks and stresses.

Safe

  • Cities can provide a safe environment for female headed households, which can be enhanced through better lighting and policing of streets, and easy access to affordable housing and governance systems.

Sustainable

  • Sustainable urban development requires an appropriately skilled and educated workforce that can plan for the future while respond to current challenges
  • Providing equitable access to economic and social services across Sri Lanka’s cities will redistribute economic opportunities across, leading to diversified, balanced and, hence, sustainable economic development. 
Language competency
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Data showing the multinational language skills of ethnic group in 2012 in the Colombo Municipal Council
Sex Ratio (Female per every 100 Males) by age group
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Sex ratio is calculated using the percentage of proportion of males relative to females in a population. The graph indicates that more females than males in age group of over 60
Female Headed households and Male Headed Households with National Average
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Number of Male headed households are higher than the number of Female headed households
Migrant population by gender
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
More males than females migrated into city
Ethnic profile
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Colombo’s ethnic city makeup comprises a majority of 36.7 per cent Sinhalese, followed by 29.8 per cent Tamil, 29.5 per cent Sri Lanka moor and 2.2 per cent Other groups.
Reason for migration
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Employment is considered as the main reason for male population migration in to the city, and the females are migrated in the city is due to marriages and also considering employments as well as accompanying with a family member.
Gender distribution by age
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Number of people in the labor force category is high in the city.this is a plus factor to the city development.

Education

Education has always been a significant element in societal development. The development of education facilities contributes substantially to the development in an urban area.

As a developing country it is crucial to address poverty in order to attain the development goals. Education plays a major role in poverty reduction. Presently, several global cities have been implementing the concept of smart city to improve the quality of life of the society, including in the field of education.

Good educational institutions and coverage enables a population to have decent livelihoods be they self employed or part of the workforce. Understanding how a city provides primary, secondary and tertiary eductional as well as skill development through vocational centres could provide some pointers to how well a city is doing or where it needs to develop further.

Category of Educational attainment by Gender( aged 3 - 24 years )
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
The above age group in Colombo MC around 50 per cent of people who are in age 3 to 24 are attending schools. There are 35 per cent who are not schooling in this category.
Highest Level of Education achieved by Gender
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
This graph shows that there is still a higher proportion of males that achieve a higher degree and above despite more females graduating from GCE (O/L) and GCE (A/L).
Computer literacy - ( Population aged 10 years and above )
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
The graph shows that 15-19 age group is holding the highest level in computer literacy in Colombo MC in 2012

Transport

Connectivity is central to key GoSL strategic aims: to promote economic growth, and to rebalance growth across the country’s 9 provinces. Higher the connectivity to any city, better is the urban growth in that city. 

Detailed information on key transport aspects including bus and rail transport, freight route maps, airports and logistic systems are aspects that should be considered for a city to be properly interconnected within the bigger system. One of the SDG targets 11.2 is about access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, road safety, public transport, and if we are to move towards being sustainble, these need to be considered in tranpsort planning. Further, the needs of people in vulnerable situations, women and children, persons with disabilities and older persons should also be considered.

ICT coverage is another way of being connected and recent technological advances enable a city to be better connected through its access to ICTs as well.

Accident statistics in Police Divisions (Number of fatal casualties)
Source - Sri Lanka Police Department
This graph shows fatal casualties within the last 3 years. There has been a substantial increase in fatal casualties mirroring the increased traffic in Colombo MC.
Number of railway passengers annually
Source - Sri Lanka Railways
The graph shows the annual railway passengers from 2012 to 2016. there is an increase in number of passengers over the years.
Hourly traffic flow (in day time )
Source - SOSLC Project
Between 6 am to 9 am is the busiest traffic period in the Colombo MC area with peak reached at 7 am due to school and work commuting traffic.
Modal share of vehicles entering in Municipal Council from 06 am to 06 pm (Percent)
Source - SOSLC Project
This highest percentage of vehicles entering into the Colombo MC area between 6 am to 6pm were private vehicles such as motorcycles and car/van/jeeps. Route buss only represent 6% out of the total share of vehicles
Number of Vehicles and Passengers by Mode - One Way, 24 Hours
Source - SOSLC Project
The route buses are the dominant type of vehicle in the area which tolerate the majority of the passengers. Motor cycles and cars/vans are also used in a considerable level.
Railway passengers coming into/from city center
Source - Sri Lanka Railways
This data includes island wide station record survey of ordinary records and season ticket survey of Railway department (March ,2016)

Economy

Cities are the primary drivers of economic development, therefore, Sri Lanka’s cities have a decisive role to play in driving the economy forward by catalysing high value-added economic activities, as the country strives to achieve upper middle-income country status.

According the latest Word Cities report, 80 per cent of global GDP is created by cities, despite their accounting for less than 60 per cent of the world’s population (UN-Habitat, 2016).

The Government of Sri Lanka recognizes the role of urban economy in shaping the future of the country. In this respect, Vision 2025 and Public Investment Programme (PIP) 2017-2020 lays out the urban policy priority actions: to promote western region as economic hub of the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, and to promote strategic city development to secondary urban spaces as provincial economic hubs. 

It is also interesting to see how competitive a city is, taking into account current and potential roles of governments, businesses and the private sector in the economic development of the city and urban settlements, best use of human capital,  and labour force participation, and existing skills and the job market etc. within demarcated territory. 

Estimated City Competitiveness Index (CCI)
Source - SOSLC Project
Colombo is ranked as the first highest on the CCI following Kurunegala and Kandy as second and third respectively.
Estimated Gross domestic product per capita
Source - Central Bank Annual report 2017
This graph indicates the gradual rise in estimated per capita GDP in Colombo MC.

Urban governance

Urban governance can be simplified as “how government (local, regional and national) and stakeholders decide on planning, financing and managing urban areas”. It involves a continuous process of negotiation and contestation over allocation of social and material resources and political power.

This section provide a snapshot of the emergent contours of urban governance in Sri Lanka, focusing on financial resilience, service provision and economic dynamism.

Information available here are collected and calculated considering secondary data sets, ground level surveys as well as stakeholder discussions. The city governance index has taken many a factor into consideration and provides a valuable way of assessing our cities and how they rank from a governance perspective.

City Governance Index
Source - SOSLC Project
Colombo MC has scored a high score of 76.76 for ‘Service Delivery Coverage’ and low score for ‘Financial Resilience (25.72). This analysis provides a proper picture on areas which the immediate attention is required.
Distribution of Local Authorities (by Province)
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
In Sri Lanka the LAs are divided into three types according to its population and size: Municipal Councils (MC, 23) which corresponds to the city, Urban Councils (UC, 41) which corresponds to the town, and Pradeshiya Sabha (PS, 271) which corresponds to the village. They are responsible for providing a variety of local public services including roads, sanitation, drains, waste collection, housing, libraries, public parks and recreational facilities. This chart shows the distribution of LAs by province in particular local authority belongs. Colombo is the main district which having the highest number of MC’s and UC’s (7 MC’s; 14 UC’s, 27 PS’s). [Colombo district - Colombo MC, Dehiwala-M. L. MC, Moratuwa MC, Sri Jayawar. Kotte MC, Kaduwela MC Kolonnawa UC, Seethawakapura UC, Maharagama UC, Kesbewa UC, Boralasgamuwa UC Gampaha District - Negambo MC, Gampaha MC, Ja-Ela UC, Katunayaka Seeduwa UC, Minuwangoda UC, Peliyagoda UC, Wattala Mabola UC Kaluthara District - Beruwala UC, Horana UC, Kalutara UC, Panadura UC]

Housing

An important function of Sri Lanka’s cities is to provide housing for the diversity of residents that support urban life. Sri Lankan early urban settlement legacy – histories, patterns, trends including land use and housing and the development challenges that come along with it have shaped the nature of our cities.

The share of housing as a proportion of built-up area across the different cities was considered, and numerous factors affect the figure. e.g. Anuradhapura, has restrictions on residential developments because of its cultural, historical and touristic importance, other MCs include significant social and economic land use, operating as a hub to surrounding suburbs and rural areas with large residential populations.

Housing policy challenges that are encountered by the city administrators relate to tenure systems, the supply of affordable, high quality housing, and difficulties accessing housing finance. 

Types of housing unit
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
The graph indicates the typology of housing in the Colombo MC Area. The majority of housing (around 79 per cent) comprises single story, two story houses and Flats.
Types of housing
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
The graph indicate that 93.2 per cent of the houses were permanent in 2012

Municipal Services

Municipal services is one of the key tasks an urban centre carries out fto ensure a functional living condition for its citizens.

The access to municipal services and the quality of their provision strongly influence the social, economic and environmental performance of a city as well as urban development.

Urban centres provide key services that underpin Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic development. Cities provide key government administration functions, such as vehicle registration services, access to social protection schemes, and a range of additional services (explored in detail in Chapter 9, urban governance in the SoSLC Report). Urban centres provide residents with health and education services: providing equitable access to quality healthcare and education. They also include services to facilitate social recreational activities and promote community cohesion, such as libraries, community centres and sports facilities. Ensuring quality services is a crucial component in securing an urban future for all Sri Lankans. 

Infrastructure
Source - Department of Census and Statistics
Colombo MC Area has extremely high coverage of electricity and water services with 96.5 per cent and 99.7 per cent having access to safe drinking water and electricity respectively.
Solid waste collection and disposal (Per day)
Source - JICA
98.3 per cent of the city is covered by garbage collection in Colombo MC Area.

Environment

A city needs to have an environment that is habitable and conducive with appropriate spaces for people who use the city, while also being resilient in the face of increasing climate risk.

Aspects such as a cities’ air and water quality, quality of the built environment as well as the aesthetic and historic aspects in the city are things we need to look at. However, in the light of increasing disaster risk, managing climate change impact in the light of current urbanisation patterns becomes a key concern, and thus land use planning in a city needs to take this into account.

SDG targets 11.4 (safeguarding cultural and natural heritage) and 11.5 (reducing impacts of disasters, especially floods), 11.6 (air quality and waste) and  11.7 (safe, open and green spaces for all groups) all emphasize that for a city to be sustainable, these aspects need to be considered.

Climate risk exposure (1974-2017)
Source - Disaster Management Center
The graph shows that the Colombo area is affected from all the types of disasters including flood, landslides and cyclones.
Air pollution due to transport
Source - National Building Research Organisation
The data elaborates the level of pollutants in the air due to transportation in the city is very high and it exceed the recommend levels. Recommended sulfur dioxide (SO2 ) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ) levels are according to the WHO recommendations.

Thematic maps

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SOSLC project, UDA, CMC, NBRO,DMC...

There are number of data sets in the map space, which include data from different institutions. The data files can be downloaded.  

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SOSLC project

Detailed layer on the available land uses in the MC area is visualized in this map space.

Built-Up
SOSLC project
  • Total Built-Up
    4044.53
  • Residential
    • High Rise
      • 135.01
    • Low Rise
      • 1162.56
    • Slum
      • 220.19
    • Shanty
      • 45.28
  • Commercial
    • Retail
      • 255.84
    • Office
      • 29.07
    • Mixed Retail-Residential
      • 12.37
    • Banks
      • 49.30
  • Institutional
    • Education
      • University
        15.68
      • Other higher edu.
        42.51
      • School
        106.08
    • Health
      • Hospital
        50.60
      • Dispensary
        2.55
    • Government
      • 195.37
  • Industrial
    • Factory
      • 280.31
    • Landfill
      • 11.99
  • Transport
    • Bus Terminus
      • 11.49
    • Rail Terminus
      • 62.98
    • Port
      • 296.19
    • Parking
      • 32.49
    • Roads
      • 507.16
  • Public Space
    • Park/Square
      • 67.78
    • Playground
      • 172.94
    • Cemetery
      • 26.56
  • Cultural
    • Religious
      • Temple/Shrine
        54.14
      • Church
        39.13
      • Mosque
        6.65
    • Archeologic
      • 5.95
  • Under Construction
      • 146.36
Non Built-up
SOSLC project
  • Total Non Built-up
    317.05
  • Agriculture
      • 0.15
  • Water
      • 151.27
  • Forest
      • 2.20
  • Wetland
      • 27.12
  • Coastal area
      • 13.83
  • Barren Land
      • 122.48
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SOSLC project

Detailed data layer on urban expansion in the MC area as well as in fringe area is visualized in this map space.

Urban Extent
SOSLC project
Colombo Municipal Council
  • Urban change 1995 - 2019
    68.75
  • Overall Growth rate 1995 - 2019
    0 %
  • TOTAL AOI
    0 KM2
  • Municipality
      • urban Expansion 1995 - 2019
        8.14 KM2
          • 1995
            Total Municipality
            77.84 KM2
            • Urban
              60.48 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              9.03 KM2
            • Non-Built
              6.17 KM2
            • Water
              2.16 KM2
          • 2001
            Total Municipality
            77.84 KM2
            • Urban
              62.38 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              7 KM2
            • Non-Built
              6.3 KM2
            • Water
              2.16 KM2
          • 2012
            Total Municipality
            81.23 KM2
            • Urban
              69.17 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              5.01 KM2
            • Non-Built
              4.89 KM2
            • Water
              2.16 KM2
          • 2017
            Total Municipality
            81.23 KM2
            • Urban
              73.82 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              3.4 KM2
            • Non-Built
              1.85 KM2
            • Water
              2.16 KM2
          • 2019
            Total Municipality
            0 KM2
            • Urban
              0 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              0 KM2
            • Non-Built
              0 KM2
            • Water
              0 KM2
  • Fringe
      • urban Expansion 1995 - 2019
        60.61 KM2
          • 1995
            Total Fringe
            852.1 KM2
            • Urban
              61.63 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              269.92 KM2
            • Non-Built
              148.75 KM2
            • Water
              371.8 KM2
          • 2001
            Total Fringe
            852.09 KM2
            • Urban
              98.44 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              253.92 KM2
            • Non-Built
              197.93 KM2
            • Water
              301.8 KM2
          • 2012
            Total Fringe
            848.71 KM2
            • Urban
              219.91 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              205.29 KM2
            • Non-Built
              121.71 KM2
            • Water
              301.8 KM2
          • 2017
            Total Fringe
            848.7 KM2
            • Urban
              381.34 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              161.61 KM2
            • Non-Built
              3.95 KM2
            • Water
              301.8 KM2
          • 2019
            Total Fringe
            0 KM2
            • Urban
              0 KM2
            • Semi-Urban
              0 KM2
            • Non-Built
              0 KM2
            • Water
              0 KM2
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