Urban Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA AND THE WORLD

SRI LANKA

A key urban planning constraint to achieving sustainable cities in Sri Lanka is uncertainty about the fundamental attributes of Sri Lanka’s urban areas: their size and how they have changed over time. The SoSLC data show that Sri Lanka’s capitals are larger and have grown at a faster rate than official data suggest. On average, they have expanded at a rate of 6.42 per cent per year from 1995-2017, which is significant by regional standards. In contrast, UNDESA data, which relies on census data, indicate that on average Sri Lanka’s urban population increased at less than 1 per cent per annum during the same period. SoSLC data also show that the Provincial Capitals are also far larger than official data suggest, indicating a total population of 7.739 million in 2017. In contrast, 1.47 million people are estimated to live within official MC boundaries in 2017.

THE WORLD

Sri Lanka fits into an emerging pattern of global urbanisation, which is characterised by rapid growth in the cities of developing countries. In this context, the South Asian region to which Sri Lanka belongs ranked as the world’s second most rapidly urbanising region in 2016, with only Sub-Saharan Africa’s urban population increasing at a faster rate. Rapid rates of urban growth are particularly significant in South Asia because it is the globe’s most populous region: increasingly, the world’s urban future is being forged in its cities.  

SRI LANKA AND SOUTH ASIA

SRI LANKA

A key urban planning constraint to achieving sustainable cities in Sri Lanka is uncertainty about the fundamental attributes of Sri Lanka’s urban areas: their size and how they have changed over time. The SoSLC data show that Sri Lanka’s capitals are larger and have grown at a faster rate than official data suggest. On average, they have expanded at a rate of 6.42 per cent per year from 1995-2017, which is significant by regional standards. In contrast, UNDESA data, which relies on census data, indicate that on average Sri Lanka’s urban population increased at less than 1 per cent per annum during the same period. SoSLC data also show that the Provincial Capitals are also far larger than official data suggest, indicating a total population of 7.739 million in 2017. In contrast, 1.47 million people are estimated to live within official MC boundaries in 2017.

SOUTH ASIA

Sri Lanka fits into an emerging pattern of global urbanisation, which is characterised by rapid growth in the cities of developing countries. In this context, the South Asian region to which Sri Lanka belongs ranked as the world’s second most rapidly urbanising region in 2016, with only Sub-Saharan Africa’s urban population increasing at a faster rate. Rapid rates of urban growth are particularly significant in South Asia because it is the globe’s most populous region: increasingly, the world’s urban future is being forged in its cities.

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