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Type: Conference paper
Title: Designing sustainable settlements in the context of megaprojects: lessons learnt from the Mahaweli Architectural Unit, Sri Lanka (1983-1989)
Author: Dissanayake, N.
Bartsch, K.
Scriver, P.
Citation: Proceedings of the 50th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association: Revisiting the role of architectural science in design and practice, 2016 / Zuo, J., Daniel, L., Soebarto, V. (ed./s), pp.189-198
Publisher: The Architectural Science Association and The University of Adelaide
Publisher Place: Adelaide
Issue Date: 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9923835-3-4
Conference Name: 50th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association (7 Dec 2016 - 9 Dec 2016 : Adelaide, South Australia)
Editor: Zuo, J.
Daniel, L.
Soebarto, V.
Statement of
Nirodha K M Dissanayake, Katharine Bartsch and Peter Scriver
Abstract: This paper examines new towns constructed for the Mahaweli Development Project (MDP)—a mega project—which involved a comprehensive resettlement program in Sri Lanka. Only a handful of studies examine the new towns designed by the Mahaweli Architectural Unit (MAU), from the perspective of architecture and urban design. This paper analyses the design of these new towns with regard to the MDP resettlement goals articulated in socio-cultural assessment reports which made recommendations about physical planning principles. This critical analysis is informed by drawings and documents examined at the Mahaweli Archives, Colombo, and field work in Mahaweli towns. The paper argues that the MAU embraced the MDP initiative to build sustainable new towns, inspired by vernacular architecture, with a certain degree of success. However, with the advantage of hindsight, notable shortcomings are evident which can be attributed to an apparent disregard for the sociocultural recommendations. Given the escalating number of large scale infrastructure projects in developing countries which force displacement, resettlement and redistribution of people this paper renews emphasis on the importance of sociological concerns as a key dimension of architectural interventions for sustainable development.
Keywords: Sustainable, urban design, vernacular, re-settlement
Rights: © 2016, The Architectural Science Association and The University of Adelaide. The copyright in these proceedings belongs to the Architectural Science Association and The University of Adelaide. Copyright of the papers contained in these proceedings remains the property of the authors. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process without the prior permission of the publishers and authors.
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