Prof Hemanthi says National Physical Plans should be ecosystem centered and not poeple centered

In order to mark the World Cities Day on 29th October, a consultative forum was held at the Auditorium of the Organisation of Professional Associations. Among the invited participants were, Institute of Town planners of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, Institute of Engineers, The Surveyors’ Institute of Sri Lanka, and the Institute of Environmental Professionals.  The National Physical Policy and Plan creates a broad framework for the national development of Sri Lanka. Their initial projections were dated till 2030. However, after the government decided to revise them and extend till 2050, the National Physical Planning Department seeks the ideas and views of relevant professionals. Consultative fora are thus organized obtain such advise.

Prof.Hemanthi Ranasinghe, Council member and Past President, represented the Institute of Environmental Professionals and  provided several recommendations. She proposes that the National Physical Plan should align itself with the recommendations of the Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA), which ensures the environmental aspects are included in policy, plan and programme preparation. Furthermore, the planning needs to be ecosystem centered instead of being people centered if any more environmental disasters are to be avoided in future. Prof.Ranasinghe also added that the spread of urban areas should be limited and alternative development ideas must be brought in. Above all, policy and plans should be stable in spite of changes in governments and people.

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