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SPATIAL PLANNING FOR URBANIZATION AND EQUITY: Challenges for Sri Lanka Keynote Address 1 for: SPATIAL PLANNING FOR URBANIZATION AND EQUITY: Challenges for Sri Lanka Keynote Address 1 for: the 14 th Annual Symposium of the CENTRE FOR POVERTY ANALYSIS on theme: Towards Re-imagining infrastructure and Urban Development scheduled for 23 -24 November 2015 at the Sri Lanka Foundation, Colombo 7 K. Locana Gunaratna, Ph. D Architect / Urban Planner Fellow, National Academy of Sciences Sri Lanka Honorary Fellow, Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka Honorary Fellow, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects

Introduction The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP, 2012): saw population growth coupled with Introduction The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP, 2012): saw population growth coupled with unplanned urbanization as being among the ten most serious global concerns; and, identified the urgent need to implement urban planning policies that internalize consumption needs and demographic trends for sustainable urban living.

 The scale and pace of current urbanization is most prominently manifest today in The scale and pace of current urbanization is most prominently manifest today in the TWCs. Urbanization is the result of natural increase in urban populations and also, more importantly, rural migrations to cities. A UN agency (ESCAP) predicted as early as in 1993 that by 2020: - the bulk of the world's population will be urbanized; - Asian cities will contain more than half that population; and, that - 1. 5 billion people will be added to the urban centers of Asia.

It is hoped in this presentation to answer, inter alia, the following questions with It is hoped in this presentation to answer, inter alia, the following questions with particular reference to Sri Lanka: • Is the urbanization process inexorable? • If it is, can the process economically and socially benefit the country as a whole? • If so, does it tend to allocate the benefits equitably? • If not, can its adverse impacts be mitigated?

Urbanization in South Asia The targets of rural-urban migration are usually the larger cities. Urbanization in South Asia The targets of rural-urban migration are usually the larger cities. These migrations are so heavy and frequent that very large populations are forced to live in massive, ever-increasing slums and shanties. There were 23 very large cities ('megacities') worldwide in 2011, each with more than 10 million people. Asia had 12 megacities with South Asia alone having 5. of them: - 3 are in India - New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata ; -1 in Pakistan - Karachi, and, -1 in Bangladesh - Dhaka, the fastest growing of all in South Asia.

The South Asian total of megacities is predicted to increase from 5 to 8 The South Asian total of megacities is predicted to increase from 5 to 8 by 2025 (UN, 2012). Country Urban Population Rate of Urbanization Bangladesh 44, 685, 923 (28. 4 % of total) 2. 96 % India 391, 535, 019 (31. 3 % of total) 2. 47 % Nepal 4, 762, 848 (16. 2 % of total) 3. 62 % Pakistan 65, 481, 587 (36. 2 % of total) 2. 68 % Sri Lanka 3, 092, 255 (15. 1 % of total) 1. 36 % Table 1 (Urban population figures: World Bank staff estimates for 2012. Urbanization rates: CIA World Fact book estimates for 2010 -2015)

These estimates clearly show Sri Lanka as having a low rate of urbanization as These estimates clearly show Sri Lanka as having a low rate of urbanization as compared to the other countries of South Asia. The indigenous South Asian coverage of urbanization in its demographic and socioeconomic aspects is extensive and competent. These studies reveal that: - the largest cities are gaining the bulk of rural migrants; and, that - the South Asian megacities experience immense difficulties with informal settlements. Examples of some of these are seen in the following photographs:

Slums in Indian Megacities Slums in Indian Megacities

Bustees in Bangladesh (Dhaka) Bustees in Bangladesh (Dhaka)

Slums in Pakistan (Orangi, Karachi) Slums in Pakistan (Orangi, Karachi)

Shanties in Sri Lanka (Colombo) Shanties in Sri Lanka (Colombo)

A few South Asian scholars e. g. Arif and Hamid (2009) are comforted that A few South Asian scholars e. g. Arif and Hamid (2009) are comforted that the move to cities has resulted in marginal improvements for some rural migrants. Others e. g. Sharma (2003), Datta (2006) and Hossain (2006) show concern: - that the often illiterate and unskilled rural families escaping rural poverty, eventually become trapped in squalid urban environments; - that their sheer numbers cause un-relievable stresses on scarce urban infrastructure and services; and, - that those cities cannot generate employment opportunities to sustain the massive and continuing influx of rural migrants.

The Theories A recent review of planning literature about the concepts and theories which The Theories A recent review of planning literature about the concepts and theories which have influenced and/or relevant to urbanization in the TWCs (Gunaratna, 2014) yielded two very different outcomes: - a set of utopian concepts from the late 19 th and early 20 th Century Europe which forms the base of most current planning approaches adopted in South Asia; and, - a set of more scientifically rigorous theories which could underlie a far more relevant approach to the problems of urbanization in the TWCs. - These latter theories, also of Western origin, are an integral part of the sub-discipline often known as Spatial Economics. It will not be possible here to discuss these theories, except to summarize the relevant findings and whether these concepts and theories have been put to use in Sri Lanka.

The Utopian Concepts The spatial solutions based on these utopian concepts are generally intended The Utopian Concepts The spatial solutions based on these utopian concepts are generally intended to guide the expansion of impacted cities. They usually involve the planning and building of Garden Cities with Satellite Towns. The intellectual underpinnings are British from a century ago. They are based on the work of Ebenezer Howard. (See fig. . )

Models based on this vision are still almost the only recognized means of dealing Models based on this vision are still almost the only recognized means of dealing with urbanization in the South Asian region. The first two plans for Colombo in the 20 th Century (Geddes’ 1919; Abecrombie’s 1949) were based on Howard’s theory which promotes Satellite Towns. The scale of current urbanization in South Asia is of a different order of magnitude from its manifestation in late 19 th century Britain, when the utopian concept was first envisioned. This is evident when one notes that: - the total urban population of England Wales in 1901 was 25. 1 million (Hicks and Allen, 1999); and that - the current urban population of India grows by double that figure every 5 years.

A serious researcher discussing the development of Navi Mumbai, which is the latest of A serious researcher discussing the development of Navi Mumbai, which is the latest of Mumbai's satellite towns, observes that: "In the 1960 s and 1970 s, Asian urban development policies centered on slowing down the rate of urbanization…Satellite towns and greenbelts have been among the most widely adopted means to achieve this. However, …(they) have proved to be ineffectual… The development of New Bombay is a reflection of many of the problems that have beset satellite-town building in Asia. " (Shaw, 1995)

Theories from Spatial Economics There are several urban planning theories from Spatial Economics. I Theories from Spatial Economics There are several urban planning theories from Spatial Economics. I will first discuss some of the less useful of those theories that have been put into practice in the TWCs. Growth Centre Theories The intrusion of Economic Growth Theory took place immediately following World War II, intended to help rebuild war ravaged Europe. With this effort underway, theory was adopted and applied to the TWCs beginning around 1951. It influenced spatial planning through several ‘Growth Center' models which became popular.

These ‘Growth Center’ models proposed that: capital investment for developing a lagging region, should These ‘Growth Center’ models proposed that: capital investment for developing a lagging region, should be made in large concentrations at a few pre-selected geographic points. Development would then result and spread from these points. Unfavorable scholarly reactions based on evidence against these models began to appear in the late 1970 s and early 1980 s. We in Sri Lanka, unwisely, base a lot of our work on this very theory. An important Indian research project rejected the concept almost 4 decades ago (Roy & Patil, 1977: 6) as being irrelevant to development work in India, favoring instead an alternative concept.

The Theory of Duality and Some Criticisms A school of thought traceable to Boeke The Theory of Duality and Some Criticisms A school of thought traceable to Boeke (1953) saw a TWC's economy as being a duality consisting of: a backward, tradition-bound agriculture sector; coexisting with a small, urban industrial sector, where capitalism has been imported full-blown from the West. He and his followers see a serious future for the TWCs only in the urban industrial sector.

Some alarming predictions on the consequences of horizontal urban expansions are: - the tripling Some alarming predictions on the consequences of horizontal urban expansions are: - the tripling of urban land cover worldwide within the next three decades; - a notable adverse impact upon biodiversity; and, - that the main biodiversity 'hotspots' likely to be affected are in the TWCs with many being in South Asia. (Seto et al, 2012)

 • There were still others too, who also saw that rural outmigration would • There were still others too, who also saw that rural outmigration would adversely impact upon the urgent need to increase and maintain agricultural production for food security in the TWCs. • In this regard, the views of Nobel Laureates Theodore Schultz (1964) and Norman E. Borlaug (1970), and, the very first World Food Prize winner M. S. Swaminathan (1987) may be mentioned. • They strongly recommend the interventions of science and technology in agriculture for rural and regional development. Such interventions should now also include organic farming and recent advances in biotechnology, subject to safety protocols (IAC, 2004). Clearly, the lot of the Third World's rural poor can be vastly improved insitu while enhancing other national development objectives.

Other Theories from Spatial Economics Some studies and theories, clearly different from the ‘utopian’ Other Theories from Spatial Economics Some studies and theories, clearly different from the ‘utopian’ proposals, became part of a more scientifically rigorous and essentially German school of thought. These are useful. A few other scholars have studied the relationship between the ‘rank’ and ‘size’ of towns within countries, where rank refers to hierarchical order and the size of towns is measured by numbers of urban residents. These scientists notably include: Jefferson (1936) and Linsky (1965). Their findings suggest a distinct pattern common especially to small, coastal TWCs that have been subjected to colonialism. In these, the largest city predominates substantially over the next in rank, where the first ranking urban place is called a ‘primate city’. (see figs)

A Latin American scholar (Frank, 1969) sought to establish a causal link between colonialism A Latin American scholar (Frank, 1969) sought to establish a causal link between colonialism and the condition of underdevelopment. He saw that the urban configurations of most TWCs was highly skewed, and attributed skewing process to the military and economic agencies of the respective colonial powers that had been active in those countries. His views are well recognized today. A UN publication states: “…many developing countries are characterized by a socalled dendritic market system, which is the legacy of a colonial past and/or of persisting international dependency relations. . . ” (UN/ESCAP, 1979: 58)

E. A. J. Johnson (1970) was one of the first among Western scholars to E. A. J. Johnson (1970) was one of the first among Western scholars to have understood: - that a skewed dendritic inter-urban structure left behind as a colonial legacy, has little utility for national development in a TWC; - that market forces alone cannot alter such a skewed national urban system; - That intervention at the national policy level is needed to free that TWC from this colonially derived structural constraint.

It is clear that we in Sri Lanka have only one comparatively large city It is clear that we in Sri Lanka have only one comparatively large city and the rest are small towns. Furthermore, most of the urban areas are concentrated in the Wet Zone. (See fig. below)

Small and Mid-sized Towns A sound spatial planning approach first drafted at a South Small and Mid-sized Towns A sound spatial planning approach first drafted at a South Asian seminar/workshop in Kathmandu (1978) has since begun to gain some support. Thereafter two subsequent papers appeared which are discussed below. The first author (Rondinelli, 1986) makes a case for establishing mid-sized cities by stating : - that colonial economic policies reinforced by post-colonial economic growth strategies of the 1950 s and 1960 s were major causes of the rapid growth of a few primate cities in most Asian countries; - that the emphasis was on developing urban industry over rural development; - that the distributional effects and the spatial implications of investment allocation were largely ignored;

-that although the effort was to modernize the metropolitan economy (which incidentally is what -that although the effort was to modernize the metropolitan economy (which incidentally is what we in Sri Lanka are trying to do now), rural regions were neglected and left poor and underdeveloped; also, that in countries with dominant primate cities but without the support of national urban policies, secondary mid-sized cities cannot grow large enough and have sufficiently diversified economies to attract rural migrants, stimulate agricultural economies and promote regional development. The second paper also justifies the development of small and intermediate urban places. The authors (Hardoy and Satterthwaite, 1988) have based their recommendations on reviews of over 100 empirical studies across the TWCs and a large number of national programs for small and intermediate towns.

According to them, spatial programs According to them, spatial programs ". . . can be a crucial component in attaining social and economic objectives such as increasing the…populations reached by basic services; increasing and diversifying agricultural production; and increasing the influence of citizens living in sub-national and sub-regional political and administration units. . . ” (Hardoy and Satterthwaite, 1988)

A UN publication (ESCAP, 1979: 87) provides some valuable observations and general conclusions for A UN publication (ESCAP, 1979: 87) provides some valuable observations and general conclusions for the Asia Pacific regional context. It proceeds to state: - that urban-rural inequality is a major problem in the region; - that the disparities in respect of services, income earning opportunities and wage rates have caused concern; and - that many governments in the region should pay more attention to rural development to achieve a more balanced growth spatially and between rural and urban areas. ; and, - achievement of a more equitable distribution of the benefits of national development and economic growth. Even assuming a committed approach to rural development, outmigration from rural areas for non-farm occupations may be expected to continue, though on a reduced scale.

Rather than have rural migrants target the larger cities, the more manageable and preferred Rather than have rural migrants target the larger cities, the more manageable and preferred scenario would be where they move to the small and mid - sized towns in progression. This of course requires that these latter towns must be sufficiently attractive to the migrants. Then, movements to the large cities would be confined mainly to migrants from mid-sized towns. This pattern of internal migration is sometimes referred to as "decentralized urbanization" (Sharma, 2003. 10. 6, 410). The urban - based services in small and mid-sized towns not only require built infrastructure but also people with special skills as residents. As such skills are not readily available, a proactive planned urban settlement program to provide these skills in S&M towns is a clear need. (Gunaratna, 2000).

Conclusions Relevant to Sri Lanka Inter-urban configurations within most smaller TWCs were formed in Conclusions Relevant to Sri Lanka Inter-urban configurations within most smaller TWCs were formed in response to the needs of their respective colonial economies. They are seen today as being peculiar in two ways: - the predominance of a single 'Primate City' over all other towns; and, - the highly skewed pattern of their respective inter-urban configurations. In these respects, Sri Lanka is typical of such TWCs.

Post-colonial strategies for high economic growth, made within the framework of such deformed spatial Post-colonial strategies for high economic growth, made within the framework of such deformed spatial structures, will benefit mainly the elites of the Primate City, which in Sri Lanka is Colombo. Such development efforts will continue to accentuate income inequalities across the country as well as within the Primate City. To readjust a distorted inter-urban spatial structure towards new development strategies that emphasize equity, small and mid-sized towns are inevitably needed in locations relevant to the new strategies.

 If the old colonial spatial structure is not re-adjusted in this manner, but If the old colonial spatial structure is not re-adjusted in this manner, but those development efforts are focused only on the Primate City i. e. Colombo: - Rural - urban migration will be exacerbated; - income disparities across these countries and within the Primate City will be accentuated; - the consolidation of new slums and shanties will result; and - they will become an increasing part of the urban built environment.

Such happenings are clearly evident in most TWCs. Continued growth in this manner with Such happenings are clearly evident in most TWCs. Continued growth in this manner with mounting environmental consequences can then give rise to diseconomies of scale resulting even in the flight of capital needed to drive further growth. On a different note, the impact upon TWCs of the on-going globalization and popularization of scientific developments and technological innovations needs to be recognized. These, particularly ICT, can and should be utilized to alter the spatial landscapes of the South Asian countries including Sri Lanka.

 • It should be clear by now that the urbanization process is likely • It should be clear by now that the urbanization process is likely to continue inexorably in South Asia. • Its relatively new appearance and progress in Sri Lanka will gain ground if the main focus of developmental attention is to be focused on the Western Province. • While macro benefits may accrue to the country as a whole it seems likely that the process will economically, socially and environmentally benefit mainly the Colombo Region. • The income differentials within the country may widen. Furthermore, the benefits within the city will reach the elite more than the urban poor. • However these adversities could be mitigated with concerted action based on careful planning.

A new plan for the Colombo Region especially with political will behind it, as A new plan for the Colombo Region especially with political will behind it, as appears to be the case today, is most welcome. However, it has to be recognized: - that all megacities in the Third World have grown mainly through high rural-urban migrations; and, - that they consequently have gained massive, slums and shanties with virtually unmanageable social and environmental problems. There may be a better chance of success with urbanization in Sri Lanka because of our previous focus on promoting agriculture and rural development and, consequently, we have so far been insulated to a great extent from high rural-urban migration.

 • In the past seven decades, we in Sri Lanka have had three • In the past seven decades, we in Sri Lanka have had three comprehensive plans prepared for the Colombo Region. • All three planning efforts were superseded with time, one by one, due mainly to the lack of political commitment.

Despite this initial advantage, if we now focus our development efforts on the already Despite this initial advantage, if we now focus our development efforts on the already better served Western Region and the country’s only relatively large city, high rural-urban migration could still cause the same fate of megacities elsewhere, unless special precautions are taken. The main precautions are that planning and implementation work: - should carefully avoid irrelevant concepts and theories found to be faulty; - should be backed by scientific knowledge; - That work must be done within an environmentally predicated national spatial policy; and finally, for ultimate success, it is absolutely necessary that we ourselves should deliberate, define and decide upon the national policy framework that should govern all aspects of this very special development effort.

THANK YOU THANK YOU

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