of the CMR Structure Plan|
of the Colombo Metropolitan Region|
The structure plan consists of the
area covered by the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara amounting to 369420
hectares in extent. As this is also the area of the Western Province of the country,
the entire Western Province will come under the influence of the structure plan
which will assist this region to experience a planned development. Technically,
the structure plan knows as the Colombo Metropolitan Region. (CMR).
Components of the Colombo Metropolitan Regional Structure Plan (CMRSP)|
The whole concept of Colombo Metropolitan
Regional Structure plan is based on the principles of 'Sustainable Development'.
This planning approach became increasingly relevant when the existing development
was evaluated from an environmental point of view. This evaluation was carried
out in the form of "Environmental Sensitivity Analysis", and it led
to the identification of environmentally not so sensitive areas that can be brought
under planned development and environmentally sensitive ecological zones which
need to be preserved. The zones that have been considered for preservation are
- The Marine Environment
of the Coastal Area
- Beaches and Dunes
- Coastal Wetlands
Flats and Wetlands
- Raised Beaches and Dunes
- Outer Lateritic Plain
- Inner Lateritic Plain
- Inner Lateritic Plain (Highlands)
River Valleys (Alluvial Plains)
addition, the environmental assessment also identified a network of environmentally
sensitive wetlands, waterbeds, lagoons and paddy fields. This environmentally
sensitive areas will also be protected from future development.
areas identified for future development, which are classified as not so environmentally
sensitive, will be provided with facilities such as water, electricity and sewerage
together with improved network of roads and railways.
comprehensive research was carried out to examine the urban hierarchy of the CMR
and how it evolved over the last two decades. Based on the hierarchical structure
of services and population, the urban Centres in the CMR were categorized under
first order, second order third order and fourth order urban centres. The study
on urban hierarchy also helped to identify several urban agglomerations or conurbation
in different parts of the Region.
past trends in urban development are taken into account, the urbanisation in the
future is likely to be concentrated in these seven urban agglomerations. The structure
plan recognized that these agglomerations as useful areas to promote to the growth
centre concept. In order to facilitate growth centres, additional lands have been
identified in respect of each centre, which will enable these centres to satisfy
the demand for land from commercial, industrial, institutional and residential
uses. The identified growth centres are Negombo, Gampaha, Biyagama, Homagama,
Horana and Matugama. 'The Core Area', which was an exception to the application
of growth centre concept in identifying potential urban centres for rapid development,
was determined because this area constitutes the Administrative and Financial
Core of the entire CMR. Accordingly, the recognition of the traditional Capital
City of Colombo and its immediate environs as the 'Core Area' signifies its importance
in both national and regional contexts.
Core Area consists of the City of Colombo and the new 'Capital Territory'. However,
the importance of detailed and careful planning of the proposed Core Area must
be emphasized particularly in view of the fact that a large part of the Core Area
is under environmentally sensitive wetlands, paddy fields and water bodies and
bounded by ocean on one side and Kelani River on another side.